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Tampa Bay Lightning calls up Mark Parrish



The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday called up wing Mark Parrish from AHL Norfolk. He will play against the Rangers.

"He's a guy who goes to the net hard, and he's good around the net," coach Rick Tocchet said. "Maybe he can add that to our game."

To get Parrish into the lineup, Kurtis Foster, who has been playing right wing was moved back to defense. Matt Smaby will be scratched with right wing Brandon Bochenski.

Parrish, 33, a former NHL All-Star, played on two tryout contracts with  Norfolk before signing a prorated one-year deal with the Lightning. He had 13 goals, 28 points in 44 games.

"Just play my game, I guess," Parrish said when asked what he could contribute in one game before the two-week Olympic break. "Come in and work hard and show that my game is still there, and I still have the ability to help this team out any way I can."

"We're actually looking for a simple game from him, an A-to-B type player," Tocchet said. "Get the puck out of the corners, get to the net. If the puck's along the wall, chip it out, take the body. Those are the type of plays we're looking for. When you have those type of plays, you stop the momentum of the other team."

If Parrish can chip in offensively, so much the better. Teammates certainly aren't giving Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis much help. Vinny Lecavalier has zero points in four games. Alex Tanguay has one goal in 11 games and Ryan Malone has zero in 10.

How will Parrish feel in his first NHL game since April 9 with the Stars.

"Ii think I'll be okay," he said. "I've played enough games where I'm not a rookie coming up for my first NHL game, so it's a little bit different. But, honestly, I have a little bit of butterflies going that I haven't felt for a while. It's actually a lot of fun to be this excited to be back."

Other stuff from the morning briefing: Mike Smith gets his first start in net since Jan. 12. Amazing, isn't it, how Antero Niittymaki's goaltending had hidden some defensive deficiencies. When Niittymaki's game slumped a bit, some problems were exposed. ... Rangers coach John Tortorella was in very good spirits before the game, warmly greeting his former acquaintances with the Lightning. As he stepped in to do an interview with Sun Sports' Paul Kennedy, the national anthem singer began rehearsing, loudly, delaying a bit the start of the interview. Tortorella faked annoyance and started to walk away from the interview, saying he would come back when the singing was over. But he relented and stayed and made small talk until the interview could start. It was all in good fun. ... Tortorella, an assistant coach for the United States Olympic team, will fly right to Vancouver after the game. ... Tocchet said he is going to turn his cell phone off for a while during the Olympic break and will encourage his coaches to do the same. "Decompress," Tocchet said when asked his plans. "I'm not telling anybody where I'm going. ... Not just myself, the coaches. I told them take these nine days and just get away. I think the coaches have done a great job. They've worked a lot of hours. The players too, get away, and when they come back, they'll be ready to go." ... Teams can resume practices at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 2:13pm]


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