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Smaby sent down; Tortorella said it felt a "little weird" to return

27

November

The re-shuffling in the Lightning's surplus on defense continued Friday, with D Matt Smaby sent down to AHL Norfolk for conditioning. Coach Rick Tocchet said Smaby, who has yet to play in a game this season partly due to the crowded blueline, could play a lot of minutes for Norfolk this weekend before re-joining the Lightning.

Though Tocchet said he wanted to get Smaby in a game next week, it could be tough, with D Mattias Ohlund close to a return. Ohlund won't play tonight, but said he's hoping to get back pretty soon.

*Speaking of coming back, Rangers coach John Tortorella admitted it was a little weird coming back to the visitor's side of the St. Pete Times Forum, where he led the Lightning for seven seasons (including a Stanley Cup). But Tortorella tried to turn the attention away from himself and onto the game. He did, however, give strong praise about Lightning coach Rick Tocchet.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for him" Tortorella said. "Certainly first, as a player, because we all know how he played. And how he handles himself as a coach, I wish him the best. I hope we (beat them) tonight, but I wish him the best from there."

 *Mike Smith will be in goal for the Lightning tonight, but it's still up in the air if he will start Saturday against his former team, the Dallas Stars.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:15am]

    

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