LW Ryan Malone says he's "good to go" for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning kleft wing Ryan Malone said his MRI exam on Monday on his undisclosed upper-body injury was negative, and he is expected to play Tuesday night against the Hurricanes. Malone missed Monday's practice and needed an X-ray after Saturday's win over the Jets during which Malone acknowledged he was hurt.
Malone didn't have much to say about the injury except that "everything is good," he is going to play and "that's about it."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Dwayne Roloson gets the start in net. ... The only change in the lineup is wing Mattias Ritola being in for Tom Pyatt. This is another of those moves made simply because the Lightning still has 14 forwards on the roster. Coach Guy Boucher said Pyatt has done nothing wrong but he doesn't want to "lose" Ritola, who has been scratched five straight games. ... Rookie Brett Connolly said he learned "you can't take a period off or a shift off" after his third-period benching during the victory over the Jets. Connolly made two turnovers in the first 10 minutes of a 1-0 game. "For me, I want to be a guy who is reliable the last five minutes of the game," Connolly said. "I have to show them that they can put me on the ice at any time. I'm looking forward to proving that." ... That said, Boucher has been impressed with Connolly, who he said has maintained his intensity at an NHL level. "There's no two-ways about it, he's an NHL player," Boucher said. "He has speed, he's smart enough and has great vision (on the ice). He's got grit, a lot of grit actually. All these make for a player who can play on our top two lines right now." ... Boucher has a similar problem with defenseman Bruno Gervais who tonight will be a healthy scratch for his eighth straight game. Boucher said Gervais will get in a game "soon." ... The Lightning has league highs of eight goals and 27 points from ts defensemen. Boucher said the blue-liners are benefiting from the team's good play five-on-five (it entered Tuesday tied for second with 25 five-on-five goals) and that they aren't forcing the play. "Your game is solid defensively. It's simple and on the blue line you make it happen, not everywhere else trying to pinch and take yourself out and force things that aren't there," Boucher said of the mind set.