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Lecavalier joins Lightning for morning skate

by Lonnie Herman

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier, out the past eight games with a lower-body injury, was on the ice for the Lightning's morning skate prior to Tampa Bay hosting the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Lecavalier wore a red jersey, symbolizing he was cleared for contact, and took part in all the team drills.

"I was sitting there about to address the team and then I see the red jersey and there's Vinny," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It was pretty exciting to see him there. Hopefully he is feeling well. He's not going [Tuesday] but there is hope for Thursday."

That would be good news for Tampa Bay because center Nate Thompson begins serving a two-game suspension Tuesday for a hit against Matt D'Agostini of the New Jersey Devils on March 29.

"I didn't watch him much," Cooper said of Lecavalier's on-ice efforts. "He's going to catch up to the pace and things like that. I kept asking him, 'How you feeling,' he kept saying, 'Good.' I don't know if he was lying to me or not, but he sold me."

To fill the gap at center, the Lightning have called up Mike Angelidis from the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League, sending Dana Tyrell to the AHL.

Cooper, until last week when he was taped to replace Guy Boucher, coached Syracuse and is familiar with Angelidis.

"He's a left-handed draw, which we lost in Thompson," Cooper said. "He's a [penalty-kill] guy for years for me and he's going to muck it out like he always does. He's no 'flash and bash.' He grinds it out and makes all those greasy, dirty plays. That’s what he does."

Here is how the lineups for the Panthers and Lightning likely will look Tuesday:


Jonathan Huberdeau - Shawn Matthias - Peter Mueller

Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Scottie Upshall - Drew Shore - Mike Santorelli

Quinton Howden - Jerred Smithson - George Parros

Brian Campbell - Tyson Strachan

Filip Kuba - Dmitry Kulikov

TJ Brennan - Erik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom

Scott Clemmensen

Injured: Jack Skille (upper body), Eric Selleck (upper body), Ed Jovanovski (hip), Kris Versteeg (knee), Stephen Weiss (wrist), Jose Theodore (lower body), Mike Weaver (lower body), Sean Bergenheim (lower body)


Tom Pyatt - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Mike Angelidis - Teddy Purcell

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Cory Conacher

Alex Killorn - Richard Panik

Eric Brewer - Matthew Carle

Victor Hedman - Sami Salo

Radko Gudas - Keith Aulie

Andrej Sustr

Mathieu Garon

Cedrick Desjardins

Scratched: B.J. Crombeen

Injured: Vincent Lecavalier (lower body), Ryan Malone (shoulder), Anders Lindback (ankle), Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body)

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