Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning's Dan Lacroix, Nigel Kirwan raise money for fellow assistant Wayne Fleming

WASHINGTON — Lightning assistant coach Dan Lacroix figured since his wife was bugging him to run in last Sunday's Gasparilla half-marathon anyway, he might as well do it for a good cause.

So Lacroix and video coach Nigel Kirwan asked players to donate on a per-mile basis with the funds going to assistant coach Wayne Fleming, who is fighting brain cancer and back at his Calgary home after a two-week hospital stay.

"Very impressive," Lacroix said of the players' response to what was called the Flemmer Run.

It was yet another gesture by the team, which has kept Fleming in its thoughts by carrying on the road the nameplate to his locker. In December, players sent him a specially equipped reclining medical chair for his home.

"He sounds good," Lacroix said Thursday. "I talked to him Monday, and he said he can't believe the support he's had in Tampa with the team and the overall hockey community."

Fleming, 61, who was diagnosed in April and went through an eight-hour surgery to remove a malignant tumor, still undergoes monthly chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and a hospital bed has been moved into his home, Lacroix said.

Fleming rides a stationary bike as part of his physical therapy, and he even gave a scouting report on D Mike Commodore, whom the Lightning acquired from the Red Wings at the trade deadline.

"His hockey knowledge is there," Lacroix said. "He wants to make sure he keeps us up to date on his thoughts."

BAD HIT: Capitals D Mike Green was not penalized for an elbow to the face of Lightning rookie Brett Connolly, but the hit likely will get scrutiny from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

"The head targeted was clear," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

The hit came with 8:54 left in the second period and Connolly against the end boards being held up by a Capitals defender. Green led with his elbow and bounced Connolly's head off the end glass.

Connolly, 19, who stayed on the ice briefly before skating off under his own power and did not play again until the third said he might have put himself in a bad position.

"I don't know what happened," said Connolly, who had a bruise under his right eye. "His elbows were up. I'm not going to point any fingers. It's a hockey play, and it happens. So it's all good. No hard feelings."

Green was not made available to reporters.

MEDICAL MATTERS: Marc-Andre Bergeron's back surgery to relieve sciatic nerve irritation was deemed "a success," the team said, though the defenseman's season likely is over. … D Bruno Gervais (upper body) missed his second game, and coach Guy Boucher said it will "be a while" before he returns.

ODDS AND ENDS: RW Teddy Purcell, with a goal and an assist, extended his league-best current points streak (seven goals, 15 assists) to 11 games … D Victor Hedman played in his 200th NHL game. … RW Brandon Segal was scratched.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

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