The Tampa Bay Lightning held their traditional gameday morning skate on Thursday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for the team’s 7:30 p.m. puck drop against the Washington Capitals.
Here are the highlights:
LINEUPS & INJURIES
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher revealed Thursday morning that Anders Lindback was not at the team’s morning skate Thursday due to illness.
Boucher did not disclose many details, and said he was unaware of the severity or the duration of the sickness, but he did confirm that Mathieu Garon would start in net tonight against the Capitals.
Garon last appeared on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where he allowed three goals on 19 shots before being swapped out in favor of Lindback.
The timing regarding Lindback’s illness also seems to be pure coincidence with the team’s acquisition of goaltender Cedrick Desjardins this morning, who came over from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for netminder Dustin Tokarski.
During a media scrum in the locker room, general manager Steve Yzerman added that even with Lindback’s unknown status for tonight, do not expect Desjardins to suit up for the Lightning tonight against Washington.
"We think he’s an excellent goaltender at the AHL level and he’s more ready to play for us if we need him up here.” -Steve Yzerman discusses today's trade for Desjardins
Details, even for Boucher and Yzerman were still blurry as of this morning, as Yzerman said “we’ll figure something out” when asked about who would dress as Garon’s backup for tonight.
Marc-Andre Bergeron and Pierre-Cedric Labrie will be scratched.
The big news, of course, this morning was the acquisition of Desjardins, who is now in his second stint with the Bolts organization.
Desjardins appeared in two games with the Lightning during the 2010-11 season, winning both, while posting a .968 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average.
Yzerman said the move came as a result of wanting to shore up the goaltending situation in Syracuse of the AHL, which according to him, “wasn’t up to par.”
“He [Desjardins] gives us a better chance to win if he gets called up,” Yzerman added. “We know him and we like him.”
NOTES AND NUMBERS
-Martin St. Louis had a pair of goals and three points versus the Capitals the last time these two teams met, back on January 19.
-Despite only scoring nine goals over the past five games, the Lightning rank first in the NHL with 46 goals this season
-The Lightning lead the league for most goals by defensemen, with 11
-.The Bolts' +10 goal differential ranks second in the Eastern Conference and tied for third in the NHL
-Victor Hedman ranks tied for second in the NHL for goals among defensemen with four, following his performance Tuesday night in which he set a single-game career-high with two goals against the Canadiens
-Vincent Lecavalier leads the Lightning with 33 hits this year and also ranks tied for sixth in the NHL with 139 faceoff wins
-Adam Hall went 7-for-7 in faceoffs on Tuesday night versus Montreal and has won 14 of his last 16 over the past two games