Hedman leaves 3rd period with injury, x-rays negative.

Hedman leaves 3rd period with injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning Defenseman Victor Hedman left with an undisclosed injury in the third period against the San Jose Sharks.

Hedman took a Joe Pavelski shot off his ankle and crumpled to the ice in distress before head trainer Tommy Mulligan could help him up. He left under his own power but didn’t put any weight on his right leg.

Hedman is having a career year with 10 goals tied for first among defensemen for goals scored. He also leads all Lightning defensemen with his average icetime of 22 minutes and was at 20 minutes of ice time when he left with the injury.

With Eric Brewer and Sami Salo being held to under 20 minutes to help keep them sharp, this is a big blow for the Lightning’s defensive corps and offense as well as Hedman has stepped up his offensive game this year.

The Lightning were trailing 5-4 at the time of the injury.

The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson reported that Hedman traveled with the team to Carolina and the x-rays are negative. So it looks like Hedman is out with a bruise but will not play Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.