Bruins won't have to deal with Steven Stamkos Wednesday

The Bruins' second round-robin game against the Lightning on Wednesday is going to be a good challenge no matter what, but their task did just get a little bit easier as Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper officially ruled out star forward Steven Stamkos on Tuesday.

Jon Cooper says Stamkos won't play tomorrow. He expects Stamkos to skate today, but it might not be the full practice.

— Diana C. Nearhos (@dianacnearhos) August 4, 2020

Stamkos missed the Lightning's last seven games of the regular season after suffering a core muscle injury that required surgery. He then suffered a leg injury last month during voluntary workouts that he described as "part of the ebbs and flows of going through rehab."

Stamkos is skating with the team and Cooper has said they're hopeful he'll be ready to play by the time the first round of the playoffs begins next week. Despite the missed games this season, Stamkos was second on the Lightning in goals (29) and points (66).

The Lightning beat the Capitals 3-2 in a shootout in their first round-robin game on Monday, while the Bruins are 0-1 going in after a 4-1 loss to the Flyers on Sunday.

A loss Wednesday would eliminate the Bruins from contention for the No. 1 seed that they had held pretty much all season, including at the time of the pause. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. ET.

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