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Tampa Bay Lightning unconcerned about New York Ranger coach's call for suspension of goalie Mike Smith

PHILADELPHIA — The Lightning brushed off calls by Rangers coach Tom Renney for the league to suspend G Mike Smith for his part in Thursday's fight with Rangers agitator Aaron Voros.

"That's Tommy; Tommy being a coach," Lightning coach Barry Melrose said Friday. "He didn't put Voros in front of the net because he was going to score a beautiful goal. But that's what coaches do."

Voros was in front of the net a lot. He and Smith jousted throughout the 5-2 Lightning loss. Voros fell on Smith early in the game. They came to blows with 1:41 left after Smith slashed Voros in the back of the leg and hit him twice in the upper back.

"I didn't think it was that serious of a play," Smith said. "They're entitled to their opinion, but it's not something I should be involved in. It's not worth a suspension, but it's something I can't be doing. I have to stop the puck and not worry about what's going on in front of me."

TRACKING THE FLYERS: Melrose said that Tampa Bay modeled its makeover after the Flyers, a playoff team last season after finishing 30th in 2006-07.

But it wasn't just the quantity of personnel moves that did the trick for Philadelphia, he said.

"They did it with effort. We want to be a real hard-working team, and when we are, we're a pretty good team," he said. "That's what we want to keep doing. As our work ethic increases, we'll see our results increase."

TRACKING THE FLYERS II: Melrose had a lot of good things to say about the Flyers, tonight's opponent "I like the team," he said. "They play hard. They're very physical. (C Mike) Richards is one of the great young leaders in the game. One thing they do is play a physical style, and we have to be ready for that. It will be a good test for us."

A GOOD CAUSE: G Olaf Kolzig's Saw V-themed mask is being auctioned on eBay and at collectsaw.com. The bid was $3,010.10 Friday night. Bidding ends at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Proceeds go to Athletes Against Autism.

>>TONIGHT

Lightning

vs. Flyers

When/where: 7; Wachovia Center, Philadelphia

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Injuries: Tampa Bay — None. Philadelphia — C Daniel Briere (stomach), D Randy Jones (hip), RW Josh Beaulieu (undisclosed), D Ryan Parent (shoulder), D Mike Rathje (back), D Derian Hatcher (knee) are out; RW Andreas Nodl (lower body), C Darroll Powe (concussion) are day to day.

Key stat: The Flyers entered Friday with the league's third-best power play at 24.6 percent. … Tampa Bay's penalty kill is a dismal 66.7 percent (16 of 24) in its past five games, and its road penalty kill was the league's second-worst overall at 68 percent. … Philadelphia was tied for second with five short-handed goals. … C Jeff Carter was tied for third with nine goals. C Mike Richards leads the Flyers with 15 points and 11 assists.

Tampa Bay Lightning unconcerned about New York Ranger coach's call for suspension of goalie Mike Smith 11/07/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 10, 2008 1:29pm]
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