NEWS
05/26/2016 19:37 EDT | Updated 05/27/2017 01:12 EDT

Steven Stamkos returns to Lightning in Game 7

Steven Stamkos will be in the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

He was dressed and took warmup prior to the start of the game.

Stamkos will skate on the third line with Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan. The 26-year-old has participated in practice with teammates for the past few weeks but hasn't played as he had been waiting to be cleared by doctors. 

The Lightning forward has been sidelined since March 31 dealing with blood clots. In 77 games this season, Stamkos registered 36 goals, 28 assists for 64 points. In his playoff career, he has 15 goals and 20 assists in 48 career games. 

Ahead of the game, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper didn't say much when asked about Stamkos' availability in Game 7. 

"Don't ask about the lineup, at all," Cooper told reporters.

When further pressed on the Lightning's star player, Cooper responded.

"Questions about Game 7. Let's go." 

Eventually, he finally opened up and revealed what kind of impact Stamkos could have on his team if available for Game 7. 

"Stamkos has played hundreds of games with me as his coach. He has played centre, wing, he's killed penalties, played on the power-play. That's what he does when he plays. He's really good at it." 

Cooper also had some fun in what was a relatively tense press conference. 

"He has pretty much done it all except play goal. The worst thing he does is sit on the bench. That's what he's worst at."