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GOALIE SMITH GETS BACK IN THE GAME

For Mike Smith, the best part of Monday's scrimmage was simply returning to game action.

The Lightning goaltender had not been in that situation since Jan. 30, when his season ended because of post-concussion syndrome. So, though Smith admitted that two saves on five shots is nothing to put on a resume - "I wasn't a very good goalie today" - it was a step nonetheless.

"It was good to get back into a real, live situation," he said. "A lot of us don't feel we're where we need to be yet, but that's what preseason is for, to get ready for the start of the season."

Smith, 27, considered the team MVP the first half of last season, allowed penalty shot goals to Juraj Simek and Chris Lawrence and a rebound goal by Lauri Tukonen.

Coach Rick Tocchet was more interested in the bigger picture.

"He's square to the puck. He doesn't look like he's discombobulated," Tocchet said. "All that other stuff will come. He looks good."

"I feel good on my skates," Smith said. "It's just a matter of getting back in the rhythm of the speed of the game. It will get better and better as camp goes on."

Tanguay shines: It would have been difficult for LW Alex Tanguay to make a better first impression: a hat trick and a decent rapport with linemate Vinny Lecavalier.

"Yeah, it's a nice day for the confidence, but goals don't count this time of year," said Tanguay, who scored once off a Lecavalier pass. "But it was a fun day."

More scrimmages: RW Steve Downie played with Lecavalier and Tanguay and had an assist. ... D Lukas Krajicek had three assists. ...G Jaroslav Janus, playing for a contract,had 25 saves on 28 shots in two scrimmages. ... RW Carter Ashton had the hit of the day when he ran over 6-foot-7 D Vladimir Mihalik.

Summer blues: The scrimmages had a no-fighting rule. Penalties resulted in penalty shots, not power plays. The offending team also had to do 10 pushups.

"Team A, they're going to have some big arms," Tocchet said of the squad called for six infractions. "That's the stuff I just wanted to make sure from the beginning of the year that these hooking penalties are not acceptable. We took way too many hooking penalties last year, and the rule is you don't hook."

Tocchet said the next punishment might be laps: "They have to know there will be consequences."

Free lunch: Fans can get a free lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. today at the St. Pete Times Forum as training camp moves to Tampa. Practice begins at 9:45 a.m. Controlled scrimmages are at 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. All are free and open to the public. Park free in the VIP West lot.

Around the league

Wild: FPetr Sykora was invited to camp for a tryout. Sykora, 32, has played for 14 seasons and was fourth on the Penguins last year with 46 points.

Sharks:Dany Heatley, acquired in a trade from the Senators on Saturday after spending a contentious summer requesting one, wasn't expected to show up until midweek because paperwork for the Canadian's visa couldn't begin until Monday.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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