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Tampa Bay Lightning W Marty St. Louis hit on (near) eye with a puck; likely out tonight vs. Rangers

8

December

Tampa Bay Lightning star Marty St. Louis likely will not play tonight against the Rangers after being hit on or near the left eye with a puck during Thursday's morning skate. If out, St. Louis' consecutive-games streak, the league's third-longest current will be done at 499.

St. Louis was hit by a backhand shot from Dominic Moore that missed the net. St. Louis raced off the ice streaming blood.

"We'll see the extent of it but right now it doesn't look pretty," coach Guy Boucher said. "It just keeps pouring."

"Anytime a guy gets hit, you know, it's not a good thing," Moore said. "It's tough to see."

St. Louis, 36, was taken to NYU Medical Center for evaluation. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said St. Louis had swelling but had no further update.

"He has been playing extremely well," Yzerman said. "He's been playing phenomenally. We'll assume he won't be able to play tonight. It's a difficult loss for the team, but it's an opportunity for other guys to step up."

With center Nate Thompson (upper body) and defensemen Pavel Kubina (lower body) and Mattias Ohlund (knees) also out, it is expected Tampa Bay will call up a player from AHL Norfolk.

Boucher tried to rally the troops after the morning skate.

"It's probably the biggest blow you can get to our team right there," he said later. "I'm the leader. I can't show that we're going into this battle with our heads down and our hands down. It's already going to be as difficult as it can be playing a top team like that, so if we get down on ourselves and feel sorry for ourselves we're cooked. So, you've got to be tough."

Other stuff from the morning skate: Mathieu Garon gets his second straight start in net. ... Right wing Adam Hall called his two-game streak as a healthy scratch a "motivating tool." ... Boucher said he was encouraged that Kubina is back on the ice, but said he will be more encouraged when Kubina can start skating hard. ... Thompson was hurt in the first period of Tuesday's game with the Islanders.

[Last modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 12:29am]

    

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