TAMPA — Coach Guy Boucher said the Lightning is "really lucky" C Steven Stamkos wasn't seriously hurt when he went legs-first into the boards on a hit in the first period Saturday.
"That," Boucher said, "was scary."
About eight minutes into the game, Stamkos was racing for the puck deep in Florida's zone when D Mike Weaver hit him, knocking the star off his feet and sending him into the boards. Weaver was called for boarding. Stamkos stayed on his knees on the ice for a minute and was attended to by the team's athletic training personnel.
Stamkos returned to the game and said afterward he was fine, was fortunate he did not hit his head and that the hit was not worse.
"I wasn't expecting (it)," Stamkos said. "I was just trying to protect the puck. It's a dangerous play. I'm thankful I didn't get too seriously injured."
Stamkos said he hadn't seen a replay of the hit but "thought it was a little bit from behind."
"We're really lucky on this one," Boucher said. "Any time there's knees going into the boards full speed, there's a lot of worry there. We're quite happy with this one."
A night off: There's no question that G Dwayne Roloson has made a big impact since being acquired from the Islanders in January.
But as good as Roloson has been, he hasn't been at his best the past five games, giving up a combined 23 goals.
G Dan Ellis started Saturday against the Panthers, but Boucher said that had been planned awhile ago.
Boucher said though Roloson hasn't played like he is capable of recently — considering the standard he set with four shutouts already in a Lightning uniform — he is just small adjustments away from getting back on track.
"It hasn't been his top game," Boucher said. "It's not bad. He's made a difference in many games, and he hasn't made the difference in the last games. He's been okay, but he hasn't made a difference."
Roloson, 41, said he doesn't pay attention to numbers and believes it is important to not get frustrated because that can affect his game. But what has bothered him is the team results. The Lightning has lost four of his past five starts, though one was a 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia.
"It's about getting wins, and that's all that matters," Roloson said. "Obviously, I'm not getting the wins, and that matters to me."
THE NEW GUY: Boucher was thrilled with the trade for D Eric Brewer, who he believes is "exactly what we were looking for." And Brewer, acquired Friday from the Blues for a third-round draft pick and the rights to defense prospect Brock Beukeboom, was thrown right into the starting lineup Saturday, paired with veteran D Mattias Ohlund and playing 17:29.
Boucher said Brewer, who wears No. 2, will often play against the opposing team's top line and on the penalty kill. Brewer was on the ice during a Panthers five-on-three power play in the first period. "We got a top-notch player, and he fits right in," Boucher said.
Miscellany: LW Johan Harju and D Matt Smaby were scratched.