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After a day and a half to recover from the jet lag of a 10-hour flight and six-hour time change, the Lightning were back on the ice today for brisk workout. Missing from practice were Jussi Jokinen (personal reasons) and newly-acquired defenseman Lukas Krajicek, who has work visa issues to resolve.
The forward lines underwent some shuffling today and this is how they looked:Ryan Malone
- Vinny Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Vaclav Prospal - Steven Stamkos
- Radim Vrbata
Evgeny Artyukhin - Ryan Craig - Mark Recchi
Gary Roberts - Chris Gratton - Adam Hall
Extras – David Koci and Jason Ward
Craig, filling Jokinen’s spot for practice, unfortunately left the ice early with a slight groin injury, so Koci was moved up into his spot. Head coach Barry Melrose said he’d hoped to get Craig into a game soon, and the injury was unfortunate timing. He also said that defenseman Paul Ranger still wasn’t ready for Saturday night, but could be for the following Thursday’s game against the Islanders.
As for the line shuffling, with Prospal and Malone swapping spots, he had this to say:
“I want to get four stable lines and four lines that are playing well together. It’s just a little bit of tinkering.”
In rehashing the Lightning’s two losses in Prague, Melrose didn’t mince words.
“We’re not happy with the way we played over there,” he said. “It seemed like the Rangers won every loose puck battle, and we weren’t a tough enough team to play against. Obviously Lecavalier’s not 100 percent yet, so we need to get him in shape as well.
“But the goaltenders both played great – that’s the good news.”