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Lecavalier out indefinitely with upper-body injury

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The Sports Network
2/21/2012 1:34:10 PM
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Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning will have to continue their playoff push without captain Vincent Lecavalier, who will be sidelined indefinitely due to an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Lecavalier has already been ruled out for Tuesday's game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks and his status for the club's upcoming three-game road trip is unknown. That swing begins Thursday in Winnipeg before matchups in Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

The 31-year-old center suffered his injury on Saturday in a 2-1 win over the Capitals, though he played the entire game and logged nearly 20 minutes of ice time. Lecavalier, though, was sore afterward and left practice early on Monday.

There is no timetable for the return of Lecavalier, the top pick of the 1998 draft by the Lightning. He had an MRI exam on Monday and added the following day that he does not think his injury will require surgery. However, the timing does not favor Tampa Bay, which enters play on Tuesday six points behind Toronto and Winnipeg for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Obviously it's real disappointing," Lecavalier was quoted as saying on the team's website. "This is the part of the year here where we are making a push and we're playing well, so it's too bad I can't help the team."

Lecavalier has 21 goals and 25 assists in 58 games this season, ranking third on the Lightning with 46 points. However, the forward has logged just two points over his past seven games.

In 992 career games, the former Stanley Cup champion and Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner has 372 goals and 467 assists for 839 points.

Vincent Lecavalier (Photo: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
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