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Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has slight optimism about Victor Hedman injury prognosis

TAMPA — There still is no definitive word on the nature of the injury with which Lightning D Victor Hedman is dealing or how long he will be sidelined.

But GM Steve Yzerman said Tuesday "we don't believe it is concussion related" and "I'm hoping" he will play this season."

Asked if he could be more specific, Yzerman said he could not because the injury hasn't been officially diagnosed. "I don't want to give you incorrect information," he said. Yzerman did say Hedman, out two games since he was hurt Saturday against the Penguins, might see more doctors but that has yet to be determined.

There was more information about D Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has missed 20 of Tampa Bay's past 21 games with a back injury affecting his sciatic nerve.

Bergeron flew to New York on Tuesday to see a doctor. "We're trying to find out what's the deal and get rid of it," he said before he left. "I'm sure there's a way to get rid of it and resolve the situation."

Even so, Bergeron said he is wrapping his head around perhaps not playing again this season. "Could be," he said, "yeah."

SICK BAY: The flu is running through the locker room, so today's practice was cancelled.

C Nate Thompson and D Brendan Mikkelson did not play against the Canadiens. Also affected was RW Teddy Purcell and LW Ryan Malone, both of whom played, and assistant coach Marty Raymond, who missed the morning skate but was at the game. Even coach Guy Boucher said he had a bucket at the ready behind the bench.

To compensate, Tampa Bay recalled forwards Mike Angelidis and Trevor Smith and, for the 10th time, D Evan Oberg. RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie also was recalled.

MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: In a best-case scenario, C Vinny Lecavalier, out five games with a fractured right hand, could be back in 10 days, Boucher said.

DISCIPLINE: Because of his second-period altercation with Alexei Emelin, Malone received two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, five for fighting and a game misconduct, for which he was automatically fined $200 and is subject to supplemental discipline by the league.

Malone went after Emelin for a check Emelin threw when Malone did not have the puck. Emelin did not fight back as Malone pounded.

"It's not old-school hockey, it's pretty much hockey," Malone said. "If they feel they can take a cheap shot at someone and then not stand up for themselves, that's the way they play. I think I always played fair where if I take a cheap shot at someone, you have to kind of pay your dues."

Told Emelin does not fight because his face was caved in during a 2009 fight in Russia's KHL against former Lightning Alex Svitov and had to be reconstructed, Malone said, "Then he shouldn't do that."

ODDS AND ENDS: D Brett Clark will be at McDonald's, 1905 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, from 7-8 tonight for the Lightning Hockey Night radio show. … Wings Ryan Shannon (upper body) and Tim Wallace also were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has slight optimism about Victor Hedman injury prognosis 02/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 1:00am]
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