TAMPA — Lightning D Marc-Andre Bergeron said he is swearing off squats as part of his workout program.
Bergeron played Saturday against the Canadiens after missing two games with back spasms caused by doing squats. He appeared stiff after the morning skate, but indicated it wasn't anything some acetaminophen couldn't control. He played just 9:10 with one shot and two blocks.
After the second back injury of his career caused by doing squats, Bergeron said he needs to be more careful.
"I'm absolutely not going to do squats anymore," he said. "There are many ways to do the same thing. It's a matter of just being smarter."
Bergeron admitted there was extra incentive to face Montreal, which declined to re-sign him over the summer after he was injured in the playoffs and needed reconstructive knee surgery. But he also said he wished the game was later "so I am 100 percent when I play."
Bergeron, 30, has two goals and six points in 10 games since he signed as a free agent. He is minus-3 and entered Saturday averaging 15:13 of ice time. He said he expected more production from himself. He also wants to stay on the ice.
"I love this team. It's a great team with a lot of belief, and we know we can go on a nice roll," he said. "I want to be part of that."
VINNY'S BACK: The mid-body injury that kept C Vinny Lecavalier out Thursday against the Bruins is believed to be a sore lower back. Lecavalier, hurt Wednesday when he checked New Jersey's David Steckel, had a goal and six shots against the Canadiens in 21:31 of ice time. "It felt pretty good," he said.
MORE INJURIES: C Nate Thompson played only 9:19 and did not play the last 7:18 of the third, though the team did not report an injury. ... RW Steve Downie sat out with a minor injury sustained against the Bruins that coach Guy Boucher declined to identify. He also confirmed Downie hasn't healed from a high ankle sprain that kept him out of 13 December games. … D Mike Lundin, out 12 games with what is believed to be an abdominal injury, said his return is a matter of conditioning. "I still have a little bit to go," he said.
EVEN MORE INJURIES: Boucher said W Ryan Malone is "making progress" in his recovery from what he said is a partially torn stomach muscle. The team "got lucky" the injury did not require surgery, Boucher said. Still, don't expect to see Malone before April. … W Mattias Ritola took Downie's spot on a line with C Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis despite a stomach illness.
DOG DAY: Chance, the yellow lab owned by Sun Sports producer Rob Allaer, lost for the first time in eight games he has attended. "Chance is very disappointed," Allaer wrote in a text message. "He wants you to know streaks end all the time. It's the playoffs where you earn your bones."
ODDS AND ENDS: Monday's game with the Capitals at the St. Pete Times Forum is at 7 p.m. to accommodate Versus. … D Matt Smaby and C Blair Jones also were scratched.