Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Return to action just start of good news for Tampa Bay Lightning's J.T. Wyman

TAMPA — Lightning RW J.T. Wyman was glad to be playing again after missing nine games with an injured right pinkie.

But even better for Wyman is he won't lose the finger — or a third of it, at least — a real concern after the bone was shattered Jan. 5 against the Senators.

"The tip was like falling off," Wyman said. "I've never seen anything like it. We had to make sure it was given enough time to heal so as not to put it at risk."

"It was," head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan said, "in a fragile state."

The injury occurred when a puck slammed into Wyman's pinkie and used the stick he was holding as an anvil. A deep gash restricted the blood flow to the bone and hindered healing.

"It was the perfect storm of anti-healing powers," Wyman, 25, said.

No surgery was required, Mulligan said, but antibiotics beat down infection and laser therapy stimulated blood flow.

Tampa Bay wanted Wyman back. He had a goal and three points and was plus-3, averaging 8:04 of ice time in six games after his call-up from AHL Norfolk.

"I feel good," he said before playing 13:00 Tuesday with an assist. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed, no pun intended."

MEDICAL MATTERS: D Victor Hedman, who missed 13 games because of a concussion, also was back and played 18:38 with two blocks and three hits. Forwards Ryan Shannon (knee), out 15 games, and Tom Pyatt (leg), out three, were in as well.

That decreased Tampa Bay's injury list from nine to five: forwards Ryan Malone (upper body), Adam Hall (forearm) and RW Dana Tyrell (knee), and defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron (back) and Mattias Ohlund (knees).

SHOOTOUT STYLE: Coach Guy Boucher probably didn't know whether to laugh or cry when he heard C Steven Stamkos scored three straight times to win the shootout competition at the All-Star Game skills competition.

Stamkos is 0-for-10 in two seasons with Boucher and 4-for-24 in his career.

"I kind of made a joke about it later," Stamkos said of the television interview in which he said he hoped Boucher was watching.

"I guess he's putting pressure on me to put him back out there," Boucher said. "I'm sure he wants to get one to relieve himself of whatever jinx he's under."

Though Stamkos said the All-Star setting has less pressure, "Just knowing that I did that in a skills competition, knowing that I did score three in a row, that can give you some confidence."

FIGHT NIGHT: When the Capitals called up RW Joel Rechlicz (184 penalty minutes in 27 games) from AHL Hershey, there was talk of a throw-down with either Steve Downie or Pierre-Cedric Labrie, whom the Lightning had recalled from Norfolk.

But Labrie was scratched and Rechlicz played just 1:49. Besides, Labrie said, "It's not all about fights. It's about hockey."

ODDS AND ENDS: Stamkos' eight shots tied a season high. … Marty St. Louis has three goals, nine assists in a seven-game points streak. ... C Dominic Moore played his 500th game.

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