BRANDON — When Cedrick Desjardins finally gets into a game, the Lightning backup goaltender said he will play "like it is my first and last."
"I just want to go out there and give everything I've got and leave it on the ice," he added.
There was no official word, but perhaps Desjardins, who has played just two NHL games (both victories) and none in more than two years, gets his chance tonight against the Canadiens. Consider:
• Goalie Anders Lindback is struggling and allowed two soft goals in a 2-1 loss Thursday to the Jets.
• Backup Mathieu Garon (lower back) is unavailable.
• The last time Desjardins, 27, from Edmundston, New Brunswick, filled in with the Lightning, he played his first NHL game Dec. 30, 2010, against Montreal and made 27 saves in a 4-1 win.
• Desjardins played parts of five seasons for the Canadiens' AHL affiliate, and Montreal sent him back to Tampa Bay last month for goalie Dustin Tokarski, just the kind of emotional button coach Guy Boucher loves to push.
"We know he's good," Boucher said of Desjardins, who was called up from AHL Syracuse because of Garon's injury and with the Crunch is 4-2-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. "He's been knocking on the door. If he gets a chance, he'll do fine."
"I want to open doors," Desjardins said. "I want to push the coach to put me out there for another game."
As he did in 2010 by beating Montreal, which got him a start the next night, a 2-1 overtime win over the Rangers with 34 saves.
"He was unbelievable for us," captain Vinny Lecavalier said.