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Monday, Oct 23, 2017
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Tampa Bay Lightning

Gagne confident of return

WASHINGTON - Lightning left wing Simon Gagne faced the bright lights of the cameras Sunday, looking none the worse for wear despite a scary looking head injury two days earlier. Gagne, who has seven points in eight playoff games, sat out Sunday's Game 2 with what the team is referring to as an "upper body'' injury after his head hit the ice during the first period of Friday's Game 1. If all continues to go well, Gagne hopes to be back when the series shifts to Tampa for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. "I hope so. I'm day-to-day right now and we'll see how it goes the next couple of days,'' he said. "(Sunday) it's not going to be OK, but hopefully for Games 3 and 4 at home.'' While chasing down a puck in the right corner, Gagne was hit cleanly into the boards by Washington defenseman Scott Hannan and sent into the air sideways. As Gagne fell to the ice, the right side of his head hit squarely and appeared to knock him unconscious as his eyes fluttered.
On Sunday, Gagne said he never lost consciousness on the play, is showing no concussion symptoms and has his full memory of what happened before needing help to the locker room. The 31-year-old has a history of concussions, including multiple issues that kept him out of all but 25 games during the 2007-08 season with Philadelphia. "I remember everything. I remember the hit, everything," he said. "It looked a lot worse than people think." When attended to by team medical trainer Tom Mulligan, Gagne said he was able to respond correctly to every question asked of him, including knowing where he was, what the score was at the time and describing how the hit occurred. "I was a little shaky. I mean, I just hit my head on the ice, so I was a little shaky,'' Gagne said. "It took me a couple of seconds to get all that together, but the first thing he asked me was where I was, and all the questions that he asked me (I got) right. I remember the score, I explained to him what happened on the hit right away, so that was a good sign.'' When back in the locker room, Gagne also was able to quickly recite his wife's phone number so the team could contact her to provide an update. "That was good. The doctor was impressed that I remembered her number right away. That was a good test," he said. "So I think I'm pretty lucky that it was not worse than it is." eerlendsson@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7835
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