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Lightning trainers on guard against MRSA

TAMPA — Tommy Mulligan said he never has had to deal with a MRSA infection with a Lightning player, and he has been the team's head athletic trainer since 2002.

But with the outbreak at One Buc Place and the headlines that resulted — three Bucs players have contracted the severe bacterial staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics — the training staff's guard is up.

"In any medical setting, everybody will try to take the right precautions," Mulligan said Saturday; "simple things, sterile instruments and properly cleaning a room. Unfortunately, no one is immune from it. You just try to do the best you can and try to be diligent and recognize the symptoms early."

The Lightning also uses several sanitizing mechanisms in player areas at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

One cleanses the air overnight and is rotated for use in different areas. It travels with the team, too, for use in visiting locker rooms.

Tampa Bay also uses a closet-style mechanism to sanitize uniforms and equipment.

"We use that about once a month with every player's gear," Mulligan said. "And if anyone does have an open wound, they'll put that gear in there also."

Open wounds are not automatically cultured for MRSA, Mulligan said. "But with the heightened awareness, people might be a little quicker to pull the trigger on it."

"Even before it became more in the public light, you're always aware of it any time you are in a locker room environment," he said. "Now it's just more in the public eye."

TOUGH NIGHT: Of five goals allowed by G Anders Lindback, three came on deflections, including Brooks Orpik redirecting down Pascal Dupuis' shot. The puck then skipped off the ice and over Lindback's shoulder to make it 2-2 7:04 into the second period.

"Nobody is stopping that," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

It was Orpik's first goal in 111 games. His last was Nov. 21, 2011, against the Islanders.

"It's frustrating," Lindback said. "But my job is to keep at it and try to keep the team in the game. It's not the way it turned out."

FIGHT NIGHT: Lightning LW Ryan Malone and Craig Adams fought off the opening faceoff. "Just trying to set the tone for the game," Malone said. "Nothing crazy."

PROGRESS: G Ben Bishop (lower body) worked with goaltenders coach Frantz Jean before the morning skate and reported he "felt pretty good." So Cedrick Desjardins, who backed up Lindback, was reassigned to AHL Syracuse.

Bishop, 3-0-0, confirmed he was hurt in Thursday's 7-2 win over the Panthers when he tried to stop Jonathan Huberdeau's third-period goal. There was contact, Bishop said, and his right leg was jammed.

"I felt a lot better the last 48 hours," Bishop said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick of the draft who plays for Halifax of the junior Quebec league, is out with a groin injury. … D Keith Aulie and D Mark Barberio were scratched.

Lightning trainers on guard against MRSA 10/12/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:12am]
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