Stephen Stamkus of Tampa Bay Lightning plays in the fifth game of the Stanley Cup

Tampa Bay Lightning has a chance to win the Stanley Cup Saturday night, but they’ll have to do it without their captain, Stephen Stamkus.

Coach John Cooper announced Saturday morning that the 30-year-old will not be playing in the fifth game. Lightning led the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars 3–1, as the pivotal match-5 comes on the second night of a game in a row.

Stamkos was “unfit to play” for the entire Stanley Cup – except for his brief appearance in Game 3, where he played under three minutes, and scored a goal on his first shot.

Cooper said: “We have to get another win, and Stamer knows he was a big part of us in keeping us off the ice, and what he contributed to when he played.” “But tonight, I won’t be in.”

Stamkos, who underwent core-muscle surgery on March 2, has suffered several setbacks that kept him out of the squad. He said he had a “problem” during the first period of the third match, which kept him on the bench for the remainder of the match.

“There were a lot of things behind the scenes that I would be happy to share with you after the season,” said Stamkus. “We are focused on winning now, and tonight was a step in the right direction.”

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Queenie Bell

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