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Svitov may play tonight after recall

Alexander Svitov was recalled from AHL Hamilton and has a good chance of playing tonight against the Capitals.

The center had three goals, two assists and 31 penalty minutes in 11 games for the Bulldogs.

"The biggest question we had was his competing," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "They tell us he's been doing that down there."

A roster spot opened when Tampa Bay bought out the contract of defenseman Janne Laukkanen.

Tortorella and general manager Jay Feaster said they might have gone another way had left wing Dmitry Afanasenkov, scratched for his previous two games, not played so well Saturday against the Hurricanes. It is believed Shane Willis, with four goals and four assists in 10 games for AHL Hershey, was being considered.

Svitov's appearance likely will affect center Martin Cibak's playing time.

"Just like Afanasenkov, if there are times we feel a guy may need to watch and reassess, that's what we're going to do," Tortorella said. "Svitov and Cibak will be in that position."

ALEXEEV INJURED: Nikita Alexeev, who plays for AHL Hershey, aggravated a left shoulder problem during Sunday's game against Philadelphia. The right wing will be in Tampa today to be checked by Lightning doctors.

_ DAMIAN CRISTODERO

HOT STARTS

Only eight teams in the history of the league have had longer unbeaten streaks to start a season than the Lightning's 7-0-1:

Team Year Games Record

Oilers 1984-85 15 12-0-3

Penguins 1995-96 13 12-0-1

Panthers 1996-97 12 8-0-4

Avalanche 2000-02 11 9-0-2

M. Leafs 1993-94 10 10-0-0

Canadiens 1981-82 10 6-0-4

Penguins 1992-93 10 8-0-2

Senators 2000-01 9 6-0-3

Lightning 2003-04 8 7-0-1

Flyers 1981-82 8 7-0-1

_ Source: Elias Sports Bureau

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