Meszaros, Krajicek expected to play
Lightning defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who took 64 stitches in his face and mouth when hit by a slap shot Saturday night from Carolina's Anton Babchuk, is expected to play tonight against the Thrashers in Atlanta. Lukas Krajicek (fingers) also is expected to play instead of the team going with five D.
As for Meszaros, trainer Tommy Mulligan said the blue-liner took stitches in his upper lip, both inside and out, in his gum line and in the roof of his mouth. Amazingly, Meszaros did not lose any teeth or sustain a concussion. Mulligan said that is thanks to Meszaros wearing a mouth guard, something Mulligan said he pushes other players to do. he said a bout 50 percent of Lightning players wear mouth guards.
Mulligan said the injury is now in his top three for ugliness along with Jassen Cullimore's face getting sliced by the boards during the 2003 playoffs and Craig MacDonald losing nine teeth last season when hit by a puck against the Maple Leafs.
Meszaros will wear a full mask today and likely take a mild pain medication, Mulligan said. How much he plays probably depends on how much discomfort he can manage. One thing Meszaros won't be doing for a bit is eating solid food. Mulligan said the team hotel today blended up a concoction of pasta and chicken into a mashed potato-like paste.
Meszaros declined to speak about the injury this morning other than to say he is doing well. He said he would rather talk after the game.