- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - All-Star defenseman Victor Hedman is sitting out of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s game at Los Angeles due to an illness.

The Lightning made the announcement Monday, shortly before the opening faceoff.

Hedman participated in the pregame warmup, but left early. The Swedish defenseman missed a game for the first time this season.

Hedman has seven goals and 31 assists in his outstanding season for the Lightning. He leads all NHL defensemen in assists and ranks third overall in the NHL while playing nearly 24½ minutes per game.

Luke Witkowski took Hedman’s place in the Tampa Bay lineup. Witkowski fought Los Angeles‘ Kyle Clifford just 79 seconds into the game.

Los Angeles captain Anze Kopitar also missed the matinee game due to an illness.

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