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)

Mike Smith expected to start in goal for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins on Thursday

NEWARK, N.J. — The last time Lightning G Mike Smith played in Boston, he allowed five goals on 22 shots before being pulled in an 8-1 loss.

One goal was from 76 feet when Smith anticipated Dennis Seidenberg would rim the puck along the boards, left his net and watched Seidenberg shoot the puck straight in.

Smith said the Dec. 2 debacle will be forgotten when, if as planned, he faces the Bruins tonight at TD Garden in Boston. Coach Guy Boucher called the game a "gigantic test" for his goalie.

"If you look at it like (a debacle), then there's going to be a lot of problems that transpire because of it," Smith said Wednesday of his first game for Tampa Bay since his Feb. 25 recall from AHL Norfolk.

"Every goalie has had bad games against teams. You can't go into a game thinking about the last time you played. I've played good hockey since December. You can't dwell on the past."

Smith, 28, is on a streak. He won two straight for the Lightning, on Dec. 16 and 18 against the Thrashers and Sabres, stopping 49 of 51 shots, before a knee injury sidelined him for a month.

In five games with Norfolk while the Lightning figured out its goaltending situation behind starter Dwayne Roloson, Smith was 1-4-0 but had a 1.83 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and a shutout.

Still, facing the Bruins, winners of six straight, the day after Tampa Bay faced the Devils will not be easy.

"It's a gigantic test, but he has to do it," Boucher said. "That's what a backup does. He has to take some tough games. … I think, really, he's going to be the only guy with energy after we, hopefully, leave everything on the ice (against New Jersey)."

"It will be exciting to be back in there," Smith said. "I'm confident. I've played well. I'm going to play my game."

BERGERON OUT: D Marc-Andre Bergeron sat out against the Devils with back spasms. D Mattias Ohlund, though, was back after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

STILL HERE: Brett Clark said he was not asked to waive his no-trade clause at Monday's trade deadline. He and fellow defenseman Randy Jones came up most in deadline-day rumors.

Clark was linked mildly to the Blackhawks. Tampa Bay turned down a draft choice for Jones.

"There's no question I wanted to stay the rest of the season and help this team," Jones said. "We have a great group of guys who have really jelled together. Chemistry like that is tough to find. I'm glad I'm part of it."

"I know some guys were scared we were going to move somebody," Boucher said, without naming names. "That's proof of how close that group is and how much they feel we have a team that can accomplish something."

LUNDIN CLOSER: D Mike Lundin, out 10 games with what is believed to be an abdominal injury, skated for the second straight day and said his return is a matter of getting in shape.

"I'm going to keep ramping it up," he said. "You may see me puking in the next couple of days."

With no practices scheduled until Sunday, Boucher said Lundin won't be in the lineup until at least Wednesday against the Blackhawks.

Mike Smith expected to start in goal for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins on Thursday 03/02/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 4:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours