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Tampa Bay Lightning RW Steve Downie out indefinitely with a sprained ankle; Harju up



The Tampa Bay Lightning's injury woes continued with the announcement by the team Friday that right wing Steve Downie will be out "indefinitely" with a sprained ankle. Downie was hurt in Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Bruins. It was originally believed Downie had broken his ankle when hit by a shot. He missed almost the entire third period. He has not been placed on injured reserve.

Left wing Johan Haru was called up from AHL Norfolk. Here is that announcement from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Johan Harju (har-YOO) from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Harju, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, has appeared in 17 games with the Admirals in his North American debut, recording 13 goals and 23 points with a plus-7 rating.  He leads Norfolk in goals and points, tied for the lead with three power play goals and tied for second in assists.  Harju has scored a goal in three of the Admirals’ previous four games.  Harju was recently named the AHL’s Player of the Week for the period ending November 28 after notching six goals and seven points with a plus-5 rating.  He also ranks tied for third in the league in goals.

A native of Overtornea, Sweden, Harju played in 55 regular season games with the Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League last season, recording four goals and 18 points.  He played two playoff games with Moscow, recording a goal and eight penalty minutes.

Harju has represented Sweden at the previous two IIHF World Championships, held in Switzerland and Germany respectively.  In 2009 he recorded two goals and four points.  This past summer he notched four goals and five points.

He was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 167th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Now, back to our show:

It has been quite a stretch for Tampa Bay, which has not had its top two lines together since Oct. 21. It was then that Simon Gagne began an 18-game streak on the sidelines because of a neck injury. Captain Vinny Lecavalier has missed 11 straight games with a knuckle injury and likely will be out at least another two weeks. Now, add Downie, who is the muscle and grinding energy of the top line with center Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.

No doubt, the loss will keep the pressure on St. Louis and Stamkos to play more minutes than coach Guy Boucher wants. Boucher already has said that both players seem tired. Stamkos is without a goal in four games. St. Louis has played at least 20 minutes in 15 straight games. Boucher has said he wants his top forwards to play about 18.

[Last modified: Sunday, January 2, 2011 12:15am]


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