Tampa Bay Lightning C Steven Stamkos takes puck to the face during morning skate

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos took a puck straight to the face at the team’s morning skate in DC today.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has proven himself to be one tough guy. He is one of those players who takes a licking (no, not the Brad Marchand kind) and keeps on ticking. Today, the Bolts Nation was given another glaring example of the captain’s toughness.

The Lightning is looking to build on their success in Game 3 and bring home another win later tonight at the Capital One Arena in DC where they will take on the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. Obviously, the captain is a huge piece of this ever-evolving puzzle.

As always, the team took to the ice in DC this morning to prepare for their meeting with the Capitals. Players were taking shots at the net, running drills, and the normal things one would do to prepare for an epic game like the one the Lightning face tonight. Unfortunately, things almost took a sinister turn in the Nation’s Capital.

In the video below, you can see Stamkos casually skating in front of the goal and putting a puck in the net. Once he clears the front of the net, you hear the distinctive ding of a puck ricocheting off the goal post. Before anyone knew what happened, the captain was bent over in a bit of pain.

Apparently, the puck that ricocheted off the goal post quickly found the face of Steven Stamkos. Needless to say, it didn’t exactly feel good. We don’t know about you, but we cringed little when the puck collided with Stammer’s face.

Thankfully, there is some good news to be had. According to ABC Action News Reporter John Sabol, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper has confirmed Steven Stamkos is ok and will not miss tonight’s game. In fact, Stamkos returned to the ice a few minutes later.

This is definitely good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stammer’s face, well…that’s another story. Then again, this is why hockey players are some of the toughest athletes in the world.

The Tampa Bay Lightning is faced with another crucial challenge tonight. After picking up a much-needed victory in Game 3, the Lightning needs to build on the foundation they built and bring home another win. If the Bolts can accomplish this, they will head back to the Bolts Nation with the series all tied up.

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The Lightning will need to bring the same intensity as they did in Game 3. Stamkos was a huge part of this intensity, scoring the first goal of the game on Tuesday night. If the captain can strike first (and early) once again, the Lightning could find themselves in a nice position when the final buzzer sounds.