TAMPA — G Dwayne Roloson said he was fully informed of the Lightning's intention to play Dustin Tokarski in net after Matheiu Garon was injured and it was not difficult to accept.
"As an athlete, you want to play," Roloson said Saturday. "But I knew what decisions (coach Guy Boucher) was making and the ideas that he had for me, so I knew exactly what was going on."
It has been a disappointing season for Roloson, 42. The league's oldest player lost his No. 1 job and continued as the backup the past two games after Garon tore his groin and Tokarski was called up from AHL Norfolk.
Part of the reason for the latter is the team wants to get a look at Tokarski, who could figure into its future plans. The other part: Roloson, who has not allowed fewer than three goals in a start since Nov. 17, has a 3.82 goals-against average and .878 save percentage that are last in the league among goalies with at least 20 starts.
Boucher said he owed it to Roloson, through "man-to-man conversations," to make sure the goalie understood his decision. "It's important that we talked, and both of us got a feeling of what the other is feeling and thinking," Boucher said. "He's been an absolute pro."
Did Boucher expect anything else? "No, but sometimes things get tough," he said. "I've seen really good people act in really bad ways. But he's been terrific, great attitude on ice, great attitude off ice."
Roloson backed that up with a commitment to help Tokarski. "It's part of being a teammate, working with the guys," he said. "It doesn't matter what situation you're in, it's always team first. Whether it's helping a guy or sitting on the bench or in the press box, you've got to do whatever it takes for your team to win."
PAY THE PRICE: RW Brett Connolly agreed the elbow to the face he took Thursday from Mike Green "wasn't the best of hits," but he does not think badly of the Capitals defenseman, suspended for three games for what appeared to be a targeted elbow.
"It's such a fine line between when to finish your check and when your opponent is in a vulnerable position," said Connolly, who sustained a bruise under his right eye. "The game is so fast that sometimes you make a split-second decision and it costs you a few games."
Green told Washington reporters he was disappointed in the suspension because he was "finishing my check, trying to separate (Connolly) from the puck."
"It's a hockey play," Connolly said, "that maybe went over the line a little bit."
STREAKING: RW Teddy Purcell went without a point against Carolina, ending his career-best 11-game point streak, one short of the league's longest this season. Purcell had seven goals and 15 assists in the streak that he said resulted from narrow focus. "You have to have a short-term memory," he said. "You want to work on consistency." As for being so close to a league-best streak, Purcell said, "I didn't even know."
ODDS AND ENDS: D Bruno Gervais (shoulder) missed his third game but was in the morning skate with a red no-contact jersey. … RW Brandon Segal and C Vinny Lecavalier (hand) also were scratched.