Tampa Bay Lightning wing Steve Downie tops injured list after 'dangerous' hit

BOSTON — RW Steve Downie came out of the Lightning locker room Thursday with a limp because of what seemed to be a knee-on-knee hit from Boston D Dennis Wideman in the third period.

Downie said he could not comment on whether the hit was dirty because he had not seen a replay. Teammates said the play was at least dangerous.

"It's a knee. It's dangerous," RW Mark Parrish said. "I don't know how bad (Downie) is hurt, but to lose a guy like that is huge."

"A dangerous play," C Steven Stamkos said. "It's a knee-on-knee hit, and a guy is injured for who knows how long. You have to be accountable. I don't think (Wideman) meant to hurt Downs, but it's still a dangerous play."

Also hurt: D Kurtis Foster (upper body) and D David Hale (lower body), which left the team playing four defensemen.

Foster left after the second, though he likely was hurt early in the period when slammed from behind face-first into the glass by Boston LW Shawn Thornton. Foster crumbled and was attended to by trainer Tommy Mulligan but stayed in the game.

Hale, playing his fourth game after recovering from a broken leg, left the game in the first period.

Downie's injury sparked the most questions.

Coach Rick Tocchet said he could not comment until he saw a replay, and the Bruins said Wideman, who got two minutes for kneeing, was not talking.

"Sometimes it's done without an intent to injure," Parrish said of knee-to-knee hits. "It's just a reaction. Either way, you can't do that."

CLOSE CALL: About two minutes after Downie's injury, Bruins D Mark Stuart was called for tripping after his foot clipped Parrish's. Stuart, though, said his evasive action might have prevented a worse collision.

"I actually let up," he said. "I tried to get out of the way. I could have finished my check, but I tried to get out of the way, and the skate just caught him, so (the referee) has to call that. I was trying to get out of the way and tried not to take him out."

Stuart said he was affected by a video shown to teams of head shots the league said will be punished by supplemental discipline beginning with Thursday's games.

"I was a little scared watching that video," he said.

OHLUND UPDATE: D Mattias Ohlund (sprained ankle) practiced but said he still has pain and sat out his eighth straight game, though there is hope he can play Saturday at Buffalo.

"I hate to put expectations on it because this injury is a tough one," Tocchet said. "But he's trying. You've got to give him credit for that."

AFFILIATE NEWS: Ken Young, owner of AHL Norfolk, said the Admirals and Lightning will remain affiliates. The teams are in the third year of a five-year deal that has opt-out clauses after seasons three and four.

ODDS AND ENDS: Stamkos' 45 goals are tied with Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league's best. … LW Marty St. Louis' 60th assist, on Paul Szczechura's third-period goal, was a personal record. … The Lightning is 500-667-77, with 112 ties. … Tampa Bay is 4-18-3 with six ties in Boston. … LW Ryan Malone (knee), RW Brandon Bochenski and D Matt Smaby were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning wing Steve Downie tops injured list after 'dangerous' hit 03/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 1:14am]

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