G Dustin Tokarksi, dehydration issues behind him, starts for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Canes

Published March 10, 2012

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dustin Tokarski stood in front of his locker after the morning skate, sweating profusely and apparently no worse for wear over the dehydration issues that plagued him after his first NHL start Thursday against the Capitals. He said he is ready for his second start tonight against the Hurricanes.

"I took it easy and rank a lot of water and fluids," he said.

Tokarski, 22, got so dehydrated during Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss he said he almost came out of the game in the third period, was in so much pain he could barely walk or sit down after the game and took two intravenous bags of sodium chloride solution with emergency medical technicians standing by as a precaution.

But Tokarski said that an hour, while on the plane headed back for Tampa, "I was feeling a lot better," and he spent Friday just taking it easy to further overcome an issue with which he said he never before had to deal.

"He was fine after," coach Guy Boucher said. "He finished the game and got us a point."

Indeed, Tokarski was solid making 29 saves and gave the team a chane to win despite allowig what he even admitted was a soft goal through his legs with 3:58 left in the third period that tied the game.

As for tonight, Tokarski said he is making sure he drinks plenty of fluids.

"Eat well, too," he said, "and try not to think about it."

Other stuff from the morning skate: Speaking of goaltending, how does Dwayne Roloson feel about being passed over so Tokarski, the unproven minor-leaguer, can play? "As an athlete you want to play, but at the same time it's not your decision," he said, and added of the conversations he had with Boucher, "I knew what was going on and what decisions he was making and the ideas behind that, so, for me, I knew exactly what was going on." Asked if he was okay with it all, he said, "Yeah, you control the things you can and forget about the things you can't. That's why he coaches and makes those decisions." ... Rookie right wing Brett Connolly said he finally watched the replay of the elbow Washington defenseman Mike Green threw to his face on Thursday and agreed, "It wasn't the best of hits." Of the three-game suspension, he added, "I guess it's appropriate. It looks bad and the league did what it had to do." Asked if he thought differently of Green, Connolly said no. "He's for the most part a clean player, and it's such a fine line between when you finish your check and when your opponent is in a vulnerable position. The game is so fast that sometimes you make a split-second decision and it costs you a few games." ... Defenseman Bruno Gervais (shoulder) participated in the morning skate but with a red no-contact jersey. ... Boucher said he will go with the same lineup tonight, so that means right wing Brandon Segal is scratched. ... Here's something to keep an eye on: center Steven Stamkos has four overtime winning goals this season. That ties him with 10 others for the league's season record. It most recently as done last season by New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk. ... Interesting Boucher said he did not tell Tokarski he was starting Thursday until the afternoon team meal. He did the same last season when Cedrick Desjardins had his first NHL start. "We tried to avoid as much distraction and give him the least time possible to over-think his game," Boucher said. "It protects the individual from having to overthink everything. Minutes and hours mater when you're stressed and are in a situation you haven't managed before. The wait is what hurts you, the ,long wait and over-thinking and the energy you waste emotionally. You want to make sure your guys don't fall into that."