Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning notes: Injury to G Garon not considered serious
NEWARK, N.J. - The injury to Tampa Bay Lightning G Mathieu Garon does not appear serious enough to keep him out for long. Garon left Monday’s game at Pittsburgh 2:19 into the second period after suffering an undisclosed lower-body injury. He is officially listed as day-to-day. Tampa Bay recalled G Cedrick Desjardins from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. The 27-year-old will serve as the backup to G Anders Lindback for Tuesday’s game against the Devils, head coach Guy Boucher said. Garon, who walked without a limp Tuesday afternoon, said he was injured while making a save on Evgeni Malkin’s rebound chance during an early penalty kill.“It’s not major; I’m day-to-day and I feel better today and hopefully I’m OK,’’ Garon said. “I’ll need to test it on the ice and, in a couple of days, hopefully I’ll be good.’’ Garon missed the final month of the 2011-12 season with a torn groin muscle. His current injury is unrelated, he said. Lindback, meanwhile, will make his first start since Feb. 24. He took the loss in relief of Garon on Monday, stopping 14 shots in 38 minutes. Desjardins, acquired from Montreal last month, previously played for the Lightning, winning both his starts on Dec. 30, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2011, posting a 1.00 goals-against average and stopping 61-of-63 shots. He was not signed as a free agent after undergoing shoulder surgery. Desjardins spent last season in Colorado’s minor league system and was with Montreal’s farm team this season before being traded to Tampa Bay. In six starts with Syracuse, Desjardins was 4-2-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .928 save percentage and two shutouts. Rookie Ondrej Palat admitted feeling nervous for most of the day prior to making his NHL debut Monday night. It was hard to tell considering how he played in his nine minutes, 28 seconds of ice time. “I was nervous before, but after the first couple of shifts I felt good,’’ Palat said. “The guys are bigger and quicker (in the NHL) and my first couple of shifts I looked around and feel how it plays in the NHL, but after the first couple of shifts I felt comfortable and just played my game.’’ On Tampa Bay’s go-ahead goal in the second, Palat took an outlet pass from Nate Thompson and protected the puck as he made his way behind the net. He got the puck to the front of the net, which led to a Thompson shot that deflected off Tom Pyatt’s face into the goal. Boucher liked Palat’s all-around game, including a pair of plays inside Tampa Bay’s zone. “He comes in yesterday and had the same approach he always has to the game and he played great,’’ Boucher said. “He picks up an assist, had two terrific defensive zone plays where he prevented one time (Sidney) Crosby and one time Malkin from having a scoring chance, and that’s something to be proud of.’’ Injured LW Ryan Malone, out since Feb. 10 with an undisclosed lower body injury, could return at home Thursday against Winnipeg or Saturday against Montreal. “He’s getting closer and closer,’’ Boucher said. “He (had) a very tough practice (Tuesday) morning and we are waiting to hear from it.’’ Boucher had nothing new to report on LW Benoit Pouliot, whose right arm has been in a sling since he was hit from behind into the boards by Boston’s Dennis Seidenberg on Saturday. Pouliot was placed on injured reserved retroactive to March 2, meaning the earliest he could return is Saturday. Boucher indicated Pouliot is considered day-to-day for next week. The lineup will remain the same Tuesday night at New Jersey, Boucher said, indicating D Marc-Andre Bergeron and D Brendan Mikkelson will be scratched. …Tampa Bay has lost five consecutive games, while New Jersey is 0-4-1 in its past five, including a 4-2 loss in Toronto on Monday. …D Roman Hamrlik, the first draft pick in Lightning history, was placed on waivers by Washington on Tuesday. Teams have until noon Wednesday to put in a claim for the 20-year veteran, who was the first overall pick in 1992.
Hot Wheels: Kids are driving Pinellas County's car-theft epidemic. It's a dangerous, sometimes deadly, game.