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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been without the services of star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy this season. According to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, Lightning coach Jon Cooper is expecting Vasilevskiy to return in late November as the goalie has been progressing "well" following back surgery in September.

In late September, the Lightning announced Vasilevskiy underwent successful surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation in his back. At the time, the team expected the goaltender to miss the first two months of the season.

In his absence, the Lightning have turned to Jonas Johansson and Matt Tomkins in between the pipes. Johansson has appeared in nine games with a 5-1-3 record, 2.87 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage over that stretch.

Vasilevskiy has been a force in net for the Lightning since breaking into the NHL during the 2014-15 season. Since entering the league, he's racked up a 263-123-28 record and helped lead Tampa Bay to back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021. Vasilevskiy also won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender in 2019, while winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Last season, Vasilevskiy put together a 34-22-4 record to go along with a 2.65 goals-against-average, .915 save percentage and four shutouts.

The Lightning currently have a 5-3-3 record (13 points) and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division.