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Barnaby promises payback for "cheap' shot

Matthew Barnaby had a message for Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis as the Lightning wing skated off the ice Saturday with help after he went down because of a knee-to-knee hit.

"I said I'll get him," Barnaby said. "He's a good buddy of mine, a good friend. He plays a tough game, but you live by the sword and die by the sword.

"This isn't my last year in the league. It will be rectified."

The teams next meet Jan. 23 in Pittsburgh.

The hit came 6:52 into the third period of Tampa Bay's 3-2 overtime victory at the Ice Palace. Barnaby charged across the blue line with the puck, turned inside and tried to get past his former teammate. It appeared as if Kasparaitis poked out his right knee to initiate contact.

Barnaby, who laid on the ice clutching his knee before skating to the bench, said he thought the hit was "cheap."

"I got around him and he stuck out his knee," he said.

Barnaby went to the training room, came back to the bench but did not return to the game. He has a bad bruise.

Kasparaitis said he tried to avoid contact.

"Stuff happens," he said. "I tried to play the puck. I didn't try to hit him. I tried to go around him. I was worried. We played together. I don't want to see a guy go down like that."

LEDYARD HURT: Defenseman Grant Ledyard was lost in the first period with a suspected concussion and did not return. He was put on injured reserve.

NEW LINES: The Lightning started the game with one line intact: Brad Richards between Fredrik Modin and Martin St. Louis, who returned after missing a game with a bruised left heel.

Vinny Lecavalier was between Jimmie Olvestad and Ben Clymer. VinnyProspal was between Juha Ylonen and Barnaby. And Tim Taylor was between Brian Holzinger and Dave Andreychuk.

ODDS AND ENDS: Nikita Alexeev, a healthy scratch in eight of 16 games, was sent to AHL Springfield with defenseman Mathieu Biron. Left wing Gordie Dwyer and defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Sascha Goc, acquired from the Devils in Friday's trade for defenseman Andrei Zyuzin, were called up. Andreychuk received a 10-minute misconduct in the first period for arguing with a referee after defenseman Nolan Pratt was called for slashing. The 37 goals the Lightning allowed through its first 15 games were the lowest in team history. The 1993-94 team allowed the next lowest, 42. Lightning players will visit 15 Tampa Bay area elementary schools Tuesday as part of the Great American Teach-In. Players will discuss life as an athlete. For information, call the Lightning community relations department at (813) 301-6500. Cory Sarich (bruised right shoulder) was scratched.

_ DAMIAN CRISTODERO

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