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Lightning G Vasilevskiy undergoes back surgery, out two months


Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent successful back surgery on Thursday to address a lumbar disc herniation and will miss the first two months of the regular season, general manager Julien Brisebois announced.

Vasilevskiy had been largely absent for Lightning training camp but returned to the team on Tuesday and took part in a non-group practice.

Jonas Johansson was set to be Vasilevskiy’s main backup. Edmonton native Matt Tomkins and Huguo Alnefelt are the other goaltenders on the Lightning roster. 

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun notes all options are on the table for the Lightning in terms of looking for goalie help, but cap space remains an issue for the team. 

"The balance here is whether to add a goalie but also have as strong a roster as possible under the cap for the rest of the season once No. 88 is back," LeBrun wrote in a post on X.

The 29-year-old played 60 games last season, posting a 34-22-4 record with a 2.65 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage.

The Tyumen, Russia native has started 415 games with the Lightning in his career, going 263-123-28 with a 2.52 GAA and .919 save percentage.

Vasilevskiy was originally selected 19th overall by the club in the 2012 NHL Draft.