Victor Hedman says he'll return for playoffs

The banged-up Tampa Bay Lightning finally got some good news. Defenseman Victor Hedman said Monday that he will return for the first playoff game Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings after missing three contests with an upper-body injury.

Tampa Bay has been home to the walking wounded. Captain Steven Stamkos is on the shelf after undergoing surgery April 4 for a vascular condition in his arm. He was ruled to be out for 1-3 months, so a return for the playoffs is highly unlikely.

Defenseman Anton Stralman broke his leg March 25 and is out indefinitely.

The latest blow came on Saturday. Center Tyler Johnson left the game against the Canadiens after being tossed to the ice and hitting his head. Coach Jon Cooper has listed him as day-to-day.

Wingers Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan have also been limping around but hope to be ready for Wednesday.

Hedman has 10 goals and 37 assists this season. He was a key member of the Lightning squad that lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals last season.