Stamkos (lower body) won't play Thursday or Saturday against the Panthers, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.

Stamkos has already been sidelined for two games, so although the Lightning have yet to indicate he's dealing with a long-term injury, it's a little disconcerting that he's already been ruled out of Tampa Bay's next two contests. The Bolts are in excellent position to make the playoffs, so they'll likely proceed with caution with Stamkos' recovery. The 31-year-old forward has racked up 17 goals and 34 points in 38 games this campaign.

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