Jan 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning C Valtteri Filppula Out Three Weeks, Will Miss Olympics

It looks like the bad news just keeps rolling in for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last night, the Bolts took on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. To add to the frustration of a 4-1 defeat, they lost yet another of their star forwards. According to Lightning Beat Reporter Missy Zielinski, Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right ankle.

This will force the Lightning center to be out of action for three weeks. As a result, the 6 foot tall, 195 pound center will miss his opportunity to represent Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that kicked off this week in Sochi, Russia.

This is certainly a big loss for the Lightning. Filppula is current in second on the team in regards to points. In the 56 games he has suited up for with the Lightning this season, he has scored 20 goals and 21 assists for a total of 41 points to go along with this plus-2 rating.

Had the Vantaa, Finland native been able to make the trip to Sochi, this would have been the second time he would have skated on Olympic ice. Filppula was a part of Team Finland in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver where they were able to capture the Bronze Medal. A lot of people have Finland on their list of teams to watch for going into this Olympic games, so this is certainly a big loss for not just the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Team Finland as well.

We here at FanSided wish Valtteri Filppula a speedy recovery, and hope that he will be back on the ice soon.

For more information on this story and more, you can visit our Tampa Bay Lightning sister site Bolts By The Bay.

Tags: 2014 Winter Olympic Games NHL Sochi Tampa Bay Lightning Team Finland Valtteri Filppula