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At the Rink blog

Boucher shakes up Lightning lineuup

Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 1:30 PM

By Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher is making some lineup changes for Saturday night's game at Florida, and there are a couple of reasons.

Forwards Tom Pyatt and Blair Jones will be skating after being scratches for Tampa Bay's last two and three games, respectively. Matt Gilroy will suit up on defense after sitting out the last two games, while Mathieu Garon will make his second start of the season in net.

Forwards Ryan Shannon and Teddy Purcell will be out of the lineup for the first time this season, while defenseman Bruno Gervais will sit after playing the last two games.

Boucher said the lineup changes were made both to try to jumpstart his team, which has lost three in a row after winning its opener, and to keep his forwards sharp.

"Jones and Pyatt are guys who work extremely hard," Boucher said. "They're physical, they're in the other team's face, they're very reliable defensively, they block shots, they're great in penalty kills. It's something I hate to get rid of when I don't put them in the lineup, and that's our problem right now.

"It's a good problem to have: We have too many guys that can play as forwards. We've got a lot of depth with the forwards; right now we don't want to lose anybody, so we want to make sure that guys play games."

That said, Boucher is hoping the lineup changes can spark his team.

"If you look at the final four teams, San Jose really hasn't played yet, they've played one game, Boston is 1-3, Vancouver is 1-2 and not playing their best, and it's the same for us," Boucher said. "And I know why. It's because we're still there. We're still in the playoffs, We're still thinking that that's what we are, that's our team. But that's not true. We're a new team, it's a new year and everything is to do right now. We were there because we earned it. We earned it every day last year and right now I think [subconsciously], we talk about it, but [subconsciously] the players think, hey, we are that team. We're not. We have to become that team. That's difficult and it's going to take a lot of work."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory