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Mike Lundin latest Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman battling injuries

TAMPA — Mike Lundin had deep-tissue massage and acupuncture with some needles electrified to help stimulate blood flow to treat an abdominal injury that has gotten worse.

"That was pretty intense," the Lightning defenseman said.

Lundin has been nursing the injury since late December. Friday's game with the Capitals apparently pushed him to the breaking point, and coach Guy Boucher said Sunday that Lundin, with what is being called a muscle strain, might be out a while.

"If it was the playoffs, he'd play through," Boucher said. "But right now we need to help him and try to get him healthy."

Lundin isn't the only defenseman hurting. His partner on the top pairing, Mattias Ohlund, has a deep bone bruise on the inside of his left knee.

Ohlund's ice time has shrunk anywhere from two to four minutes the past few games. Losing Lundin costs 20:31 of ice time.

Victor Hedman was paired with Ohlund against the Blues. Matt Smaby's 7:59 of ice time was his most since Jan. 5, and D Marc-Andre Bergeron, a power-play specialist not known for his defense, took blue-line shifts in his first game after a callup from AHL Norfolk.

Lundin has said the injury occurred on a check into the boards that "jarred" something. Boucher said Lundin, at first, did not tell anyone.

"He thought it would go away like some of these things do," Boucher said. "The problem with that is we found out pretty late."

Though Boucher said an MRI exam showed no damage and surgery is not indicated, he did not rule it out if therapy fails.

BERGERON UP: Bergeron, known for a big shot, hit and apparently cracked the mask of St. Louis G Ty Conklin.

"I would have rather hit the net than the face," Bergeron said.

A minor quibble as Bergeron, in 17:21 of ice time, had two assists, including on Vinny Lecavalier's winning goal.

Bergeron, signed as a free agent, spent the past month with Norfolk, getting into game shape and testing his surgically reconstructed right knee.

"I was obviously nervous," said Bergeron, 30, who played 17:21 in his 400th NHL game. "I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I'm not only back in the NHL, but to play for such a good team, it's a great chance."

40 AND COUNTING: C Steven Stamkos and Lecavalier are the only Lightning players with consecutive 40-goal seasons. Stamkos got to 40 in a team-record 54 games, eight quicker than his teammate.

"As a side note it's nice to get that," Stamkos said. "But I was happy to bounce back (Sunday) as a team and individually. That was a big two points for us."

THANKS: Lightning players and Boucher thanked the announced crowd of 14,896, more than expected on Super Bowl Sunday.

"I am so impressed," the coach said. "It touched us to have these people here. I honestly thought there would be nobody here."

ODDS AND ENDS: D Brett Clark's assist on Stamkos' goal gave him a goal and three assists in a career-best four-game points streak. … LW Simon Gagne played his 700th NHL game. … F Mattias Ritola and W Ryan Malone (mid body) were scratched.

Mike Lundin latest Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman battling injuries 02/06/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 6, 2011 9:21pm]
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