Desjardins expected to get second straight start Saturday vs Rangers
Rookie G Cedrick Desjardins, who made 27 saves in winning his NHL debut Thursday against Montreal, said he'll get his second straight start Saturday night against the Rangers.
Boucher would only say there's a "big chance" he'll start, saying the fact G Dan Ellis did so well against the Rangers last week made him think about it a lot. But Boucher said Desjardins "deserves it." Plus, Boucher said they want to look at Desjardins, who will go back to AHL Norfolk when G Mike Smith (knee) is ready in a week or so.
"That's the way hockey works, it's opportunity," Desjardins said. "Right now, I've got the ball in my hands and I just want to keep it and just run with it."
As impressive as Desjardins was in his first game, the Lightning played very well defensively in front of him, as he points out.
"The guys did a great job, they made my life easier," he said. "After I was making the first save, they were there every time after. You could see the guys had confidence in me."
Other news from this morning's skate: D Mike Lundin, D Mattias Ohlund, D Randy Jones and Dana Tyrell did not skate, due to "body maintenance," but are expected to play Saturday against the Rangers. Steve Downie (high ankle sprain) skated again with the team, his first hard practice (though wearing a non-contact jersey). Boucher said Downie told him he wants to play Saturday, but they'll wait until at least Tuesday against the Capitals.
When Downie does return, Boucher said he probably won't rush him back and put him on the first line right away. He'll definitely be among the top three lines, with Boucher leaning at keeping the duos of Steven Stamkos-Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier-Simon Gagne together, with Ryan Malone, Sean Bergenheim and Downie able to be a bit interchangeable.
Speaking of Bergenheim, he's received a lot of praise from Boucher for how he's been able to spark that second line with Lecavalier and Gagne.
“(Bergenheim) is one of those guys who makes it happen," Boucher said. "He takes it deep. He takes it to the net with the puck, without the puck, and therefore opens up the play for the other guys and for himself.”
-- JOE SMITH