Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain Vinny Lecavalier set to return to Tampa Bay Lightning lineup on Thursday

The Tampa Bay Lightning will get a significant piece of its roster back on Thursday when captain Vinny Lecavalier is expected to play against the Devils in Newark, N.J. Lecavalier has missed 18 games with a fractured right hand sustained Feb. 18 against the Capitals when he was hit by a puck.

"Happy to get back in the lineup," he tweeted.

Center Nate Thompson also might return after six games sidelined by an upper-body injury. In anticipation, right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie was reassigned to AHL Norfolk.

Lecavalier's absence left a huge hole in the lineup. He has 21 goals, 46 points in 58 games and averages 19:04 of ice time. He also is second on the team with five winning goals. Still, with only six games left in the season, the question is: is it worth it to bring him back?

Both Lecavalier and coach Guy Boucher told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this week that was not an option.

"The guys have been working so hard, as soon as I'm ready I want to play," Lecavalier said, "even if there's seven, five, three games."

Added Boucher: "Our mentality is every game we want to put our best team on the ice."

Besides, Boucher added, it is not as if Lecavalier can hurt himself further by playing. "A bone is either broken or it isn't," he said.

Still, Lecavalier admitted the bone, next to the one on which he had surgery last season, took longer to heal than expected. And being out of the lineup for so long, his minutes likely will be closely monitored.

Captain Vinny Lecavalier set to return to Tampa Bay Lightning lineup on Thursday 03/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.