As Marty St. Louis walked out of the Lightning locker room after Tuesday's 5-1 victory over the Kings, he did so with an obvious limp.
The right wing had taken a Drew Doughty slap shot square off a foot 4:36 into the third period as Tampa Bay defended against a Kings power play.
"Well, if you want to penalty kill, you block a shot," coach Jon Cooper said. "That's the gamer in him. That's why he is who he is."
St. Louis, 38, passed another milestone Tuesday as his two goals and an assist gave him 902 career Lightning points, already a team record. His 10 points in six games this season, on four goals and six assists, are second in the league behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
"Remarkable," Cooper said. "He'll be choked if he listens to me say this because he still considers himself a young kid. He's a kid at heart. He's a practical jokester. But we all get older, and to be able to excel for as long as he's played in this league, especially at his size (5 feet 7). It's a disadvantage right out of the gate, but he spins it into a positive. It's remarkable, his career. To have a front-row seat, I'm glad I'm here to watch this."
Of course, for St. Louis it was all about the win.
He called the game the best all-around the team has played this season, and about bouncing back after Saturday's devastating loss to the Penguins, he said, "In this league at home, you can't lose two in a row. We answered pretty well from the get-go."
He joked the first period was so fast-paced, "I couldn't wait for the TV timeouts."
It was no joke to Cooper when Doughty's shot slammed into St. Louis' foot. "Your heart does skip a beat once in a while when that happens," Cooper said.
SITTING: For a couple of players with a lot more bench time than ice time, Lightning defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio have remarkably good attitudes. Disappointed? Sure. Who wouldn't be as a healthy scratch in five of six games.
"Is it ideal that I'm sitting in the press box? No, but it's part of my job," said Aulie, 24, who has played 122 NHL games. "It's a test mentally. You have to be patient and have trust in the organization. All I can do is come to work every day and keep on trying to get better."
"When it's your first year you have to take your bruises," Barberio, 23, a rookie, said.
A KINGS THING: It has been more than three years since Lightning RW Teddy Purcell was acquired (with a third-round pick) from the Kings for Jeff Halpern. But Purcell said it's still a big deal to play against his former team.
"Even though it didn't work out for me there, I have a lot of good memories," Purcell said, "a real classy organization."
Purcell, traded to Tampa Bay in March 2010, scored on Tuesday in his third game against the Kings. He is off to a career-best start with four goals and eight points in his first six games.
"I have no hard feelings," Purcell said. "It's always fun to get a chance to beat your old team. It's a little extra motivation."
ODDS AND ENDS: Rookie D Andrej Sustr got his first NHL point with an assist on St. Louis' first goal. ... Doughty was a career-worst minus-4.