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Guy Boucher: Steven Stamkos has been playing hurt for Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA — If you like a little intrigue with cryptic coach-speak, you would have loved talking to Guy Boucher on Friday.

Asked about Steven Stamkos, whose goal against the Devils, his 32nd, was his first in seven games, the Lightning coach said the center has been hurt.

"We never said it, but he was injured," Boucher said.

What is the injury, Boucher was asked.

"Some parts of the body. It's a lot better, but it was really annoying for a while," he said.

Did the injury coincide with Stamkos' scoring drought?

"Almost."

Had Stamkos asked for a day off, would it have been understandable?

"Yes, in the first days, yes," Boucher said.

Stamkos, who has not missed a game and whose two points against New Jersey gave him 200 in his career, declined to identify the injury but said it was "nothing major. … It's nothing that's going to keep me from playing. Honestly, it's the bumps and bruises I go through every year."

Stamkos said he also has been fighting "a little bit of the flu."

As for his six-game drought, he said, "Sometimes it gets a little frustrating because of what you expect of yourself, but at the end of the day, we're all happy we're winning. That's most important."

DID IT OR DIDN'T IT?: Devils G Martin Brodeur made a terrific save on Simon Gagne with 3:00 left in the first period by reaching back with his glove to stop a shot from the right post. But Brodeur did not grab it cleanly and put his glove over the puck as it dribbled onto the goal line.

The play was reviewed, but with Brodeur's hand obscuring the puck, there was no conclusive evidence it crossed the goal line. The ruling on the ice stood, and the score remained 4-1.

"It went on the goal line, and it started rolling towards the net," Brodeur said. "That's when I scooped it, so I lost sight of what the puck was doing, but it was definitely going in. I couldn't tell if it was in or not."

BERGERON UPDATE: Newly signed D Marc-Andre Bergeron earned his first point, an assist, in his fourth game with AHL Norfolk.

Admirals GM Julien BriseBois said Bergeron, getting in game shape and testing his surgically repaired right knee, is not being judged on production.

"He's playing in all situations, and that's what we want him to do," BriseBois said. "Conditioning-wise he is a fit athlete. It's just a question of getting in game shape and working on his synchronism, and for that he needs volume (playing time), and that's what we're trying to do.

BriseBois said there is no timetable for Bergeron, 30, to be called up. "We knew going in it was a matter of weeks, not days."

ODDS AND ENDS: New Jersey scored five goals in the third period Sunday against the Lightning. With four in the first period Friday, it has scored nine of its 81 goals for the season in 40 minutes against Tampa Bay. … Tampa Bay's seven shorthanded goals allowed at home is a franchise record for a season. … G Mike Smith (knee) likely will not play a game until after the Jan. 27-30 All-Star break, Boucher said. … D Mike Lundin played his 200th NHL game. … F Mattias Ritola and D Matt Smaby were scratched.

Guy Boucher: Steven Stamkos has been playing hurt for Tampa Bay Lightning 01/14/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:30am]
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