TAMPA — Soup. Oatmeal. Applesauce.
Such is Marty St. Louis' diet after he required seven stitches to repair a raw and badly swollen lip after being hit in the chin with a puck during practice on Monday.
With the lip a beacon for ill-intentioned defensemen and in danger of being further damaged with normal play, St. Louis used a helmet with a full-face shield during practice but chose not to wear it Tuesday against the Canadiens.
"When you're used to playing with it and it's all you've known it's no big deal," said St. Louis, who scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday, "but when you've played without it for so long and put it back on, it's like a total new thing again."
St. Louis experimented in practice with a visor after requiring eight stitches to close a wicked slice across his forehead and nose after falling on an official's skate blade Dec. 13 in Ottawa, but he never used it in a game then, either. He said he'd gladly take another Blofeld scar instead of his busted lip.
"The cut didn't hurt. It was just a slice. There's no bruise," he said. "It was like someone grabbed a knife and cut me. It didn't hurt. It was tender, but it didn't hurt. (The lip) was an impact cut. That bruises and that's uncomfortable, especially inside your mouth."
NO CALL: Mike Smith D Matt Smaby was irked but glad referees ignored his punches after Canadiens D Patrice Brisebois checked
ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning scratched Olaf Kolzig (upper body), Ryan Craig and Marek Malik (healthy); the Canadiens scratched George Laraque (groin), Christopher Higgins (upper body), Ryan O'Bryne (healthy) and Saku Koivu (lower body). … The Lightning signed 19-year-old G Dustin Tokarski, a fifth-round selection in the 2008 draft.