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Injury bug strikes Tampa Bay Lightning as maybe 4 players could miss showdown with Hurricanes



The Tampa Bay Lightning is going to be severely shorthanded when it faces the Hurricanes Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Coach Guy Boucher all but confirmed center Nate Thompson has at least a mild concussion from a hit during Sunday's win over the Blues. Defenseman Mike Lundin is out "indefinitely" because of what sounds as if it is a severe abdominal strain, and wing Ryan Malone, hurt during Tuesday's loss to the Sabres, might be out until the playoffs with a stomach muscle injury, the severity of which and whether he might need surgery still is being evaluated. Boucher said it could be a tear.

Defenseman Matt Smaby's situation is a bit unsettled. He took an inadvertent knee in the private parts from Buffalo's Tyler Ennis in the first period Tuesday. He practice Thursday, but Boucher said he is not sure Smaby will play. 

"Lots of (frozen) peas," Smaby said of his treatment. "It's coming along."

Regardless of the specifics, that's a lot of manpower on the sidelines.

"We're hurting," Boucher said.

Expect at least one call-up from AHL Norfolk, most likely Johan Harju.

"It's tough to replace guys like that," center Vinny Lecavalier said. "Everybody is going to have to step out of the box and do these things to help the missing parts. The team's done it so well all year, from when I was hurt and when (Simon Gagne) was hurt. Guys really stepped up, especially this time of year, everybody has to do more than they usually do, especially with the injuries that we have."

[Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 12:15am]


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