The injury occurred during Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. The center left the game in the first period after getting caught up in the boards with Gustav Nyquist. Reports say Stamkos clutched his right knee after the collision and stumbled on his way to the locker room.
The 26-year-old left the team's road trip to return to Tampa Bay for examination, which revealed that surgery was necessary.
Stamkos was off to a hot start to this season, scoring his team-leading ninth goal in the first period on Tuesday. His 20 points is ranked third among all NHL players. He has struggled to stay healthy the last couple of years, dealing with a broken leg and a blood clot situation that kept him on the sidelines. This included missing all but one of the Lightning postseason games last season.
Many believe Tampa Bay has enough weapons to weather the storm without their star, as they have done it a couple times before. They currently sit tied for second in the Atlantic Division with the Ottawa Senators at 10-6-1.