TAMPA — Lightning coach Guy Boucher gave the grimmest assessment yet about D Mattias Ohlund, who has not played a regular-season game because of two bum knees that Boucher said "are worn down."
Boucher even hinted Ohlund might not play this season.
Asked if he was operating as if Ohlund will not be back, Boucher said, "I've been doing that for a while; not because I didn't think he'd come back, but that's how I have to be as a coach. As a team, guys are not really waiting for him. We've accepted we've lost one of our top (defensemen) and other guys have to play against the top lines and log the minutes."
Ohlund, 35, had surgeries Oct. 11 on both knees to clean out "loose bodies." He has not skated since mid November.
"It just hurts him a lot more than what he would have expected or the doctors would have expected," Boucher said. "It's … difficult to manage because you can't do much more than what's been done. It's pain tolerance. It's a question of mobility. It's a question of can he skate at the level in the NHL he needs to follow."
FLEMING UPDATE: Assistant coach Wayne Fleming, battling brain cancer, has been moved from his Calgary home to a hospital, said GM Steve Yzerman, who added that Fleming has stopped texting and emailing his observations during games.
MEDICAL MATTERS: D Matt Gilroy left in the third period with a lower-body injury.
FEASTER RETURNS: Former Lightning GM Jay Feaster was at the St. Pete Times Forum for the first time since becoming GM of the Flames in May.
"Big-time weird," said Feaster, who led Tampa Bay to the 2004 Stanley Cup but was fired in July 2008 after Oren Koules and Len Barrie bought the team.
Of their two-year ownership, Feaster said: "What the people inside the organization went through, I don't wish that on my worst enemy. That's what for me was the toughest part, seeing what it did to the people. To have good people running this thing … I'm thrilled for the fans, for the players and, most importantly, for the staff."
ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay's 18 shots in the second were its most in a period this season. … Single-game tickets for the second half go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the arena box office, ticketmaster.com and toll-free at 1-800-745-3000. … D Bruno Gervais and W Marty St. Louis (facial fractures) were scratched.