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Ryan Malone might play Friday for Lightning; Steven Stamkos less likely "but not by much"

10

December

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said there is a chance left wing Ryan Malone could play in Friday's game with the Avalanche, the start of a six-game road trip. Steven Stamkos he said was less likely, "but not by much." 

Malone left Wednesday night's game against the Oilers with a lower-body injury. Stamkos left with an upper-body injury.

The team said Malone on Thursday had an MRI exam. The results were pending. Stamkos had X-rays on Wednesday night the team said were negative. Both are listed as day-to-day.

"A little more positive news today on that front," Tocchet said after practice at the Ice Sports Forum.

Even so, Tocchet said the team likely will make a call-up from AHL Norfolk as insurance. It is believed center Blair Jones, who impressed Tocchet in a brief recent stint with the Lightning, will be re-called.

Given what the Lightning faced (Stamkos and Malone are Tampa Bay's top two scorers and account for 33 of the team's 75 goals), it likely is breathing a sigh of relief that things are not more serious.

"Any time your big guns are hurt and they are out of the game, there's a concern any time," Tocchet said. 

Neither player was available for comment before the team's flight to Denver. We may get a chance to speak to them tonight. 

[Last modified: Saturday, January 9, 2010 12:15am]

    

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