Lightning Lose NHL’s Leading Scorer Steven Stamkos to Broken Leg

Tampa Bay Lightning All-Star center Steven Stamkos, who is tied for the National Hockey League lead in goals and points scored, will have surgery today to repair a broken bone in his right leg and is out indefinitely.

Stamkos, 23, was the first overall pick of the Lightning in the 2008 draft and led the NHL in goals scored during the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. He has 14 goals and nine assists in 17 games for Tampa Bay this season.

Stamkos broke his right tibia in last night’s 3-0 loss at the Boston Bruins when he slid into Tampa Bay’s goalpost during the second period. Stamkos unsuccessfully tried to get to his feet before being taken off the ice on a stretcher.

“The medical staff in Boston, in consultation with our team physicians, has made the decision to surgically repair the injury,” Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman said. “The biggest concern for me, and the rest of the Lightning, is that decisions are made in Steven’s best long-term interest, and we feel this is the appropriate course of action.”

The Lightning have the best record in the NHL’s Atlantic Division this season at 12-5. Stamkos’s 23 points were tied with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most in the NHL, while his 14 goals matched Alexander Steen of the St. Louis Blues for the league lead.

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