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Puppa's time hasn't come

If you are wondering why, even with Daren Puppa on the trip, Rick Tabaracci and Corey Schwab shared all the goaltending chores throughout the Lightning's just-completed three-game visit to western Canada, you are not alone.

Puppa played in one minor-league game since his premature comeback after surgery to repair a herniated disc, and indications were he was ready to play when Tampa Bay left for Edmonton on Tuesday. He backed up Tabaracci in the Oilers' 3-1 victory Wednesday, but did not dress for the games that followed.

Puppa indicated he feels okay, and no setbacks have been reported.

But coaches decided to start Tabaracci in a 4-3 victory over Calgary on Friday and Schwab in the 3-2 loss to Vancouver on Saturday, an apparent suggestion that last season's Vezina Trophy finalist is no closer to being ready for an NHL game than he was after his one-game American Hockey League conditioning stint eight days ago.

YO, SLOW DOWN: Authorities in Edmonton apparently take their traffic laws seriously.

Tampa Bay enforcer and Edmonton native Brantt Myhres was detained and released only after agreeing to an April 7 court date to face charges stemming from a May 11 incident when four city policemen spotted and chased on foot a weaving Ford Mustang allegedly driven by Myhres.

Then this: In a 20-minute span about an hour and a half after Edmonton finished beating Tampa Bay, three Oilers were pulled over for allegedly speeding through the same city police radar trap. Jason Arnott was fined $87 (Canadian), Mike Grier $90 and Greg deVries $107.

MISCELLANY: Vancouver remains the only NHL franchise the Lightning never has beaten on its home ice. The Canucks are 2-7-2 in March. Their only victories are over Tampa Bay. With goals Friday against Calgary and Saturday against Vancouver, Chris Gratton has 26 _ nine more than in his career-best season.

_ TIM BUCKLEY

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