1. Lightning

Ondrej Palat on injury: 'Just unlucky'

Published Dec. 18, 2015

Lightning wing Ondej Palat was ticked off. Frustrated.

He couldn't believe it.

In just his second game back after missing more than four weeks with a left ankle injury, Palat re-aggravated Dec. 12 when the Capitals T.J. Oshie fell on his leg. It was eerily similar to how Wild's Nino Niederreiter landed on him Nov. 7.

"Exactly same spot, same leg," Palat said. "So unlucky. If it was some tweak into the boards, I'd say I wasn't 100-percent ready. But if the (first injury) would have never happened, it still would have been injured."

Fortuantely, this injury wasn't nearly as bad, Palat saying tests revealed no break. Palat has skated the past two days, including in Friday's optional morning skate. Palat won't play this weekend, but it doesn't appear long-term.

"I don't want to say I'm going to play in two days or two weeks," Palat said. "Just see how it feels."

CONDRA CLOSE: RW Erik Condra (lower body) said after today's optional skate he continues to feel 'better and better," though isn't sure if he'll play tonight against the Capitals. Condra hasn't played since Dec. 5.

"You always want to be 100-percent, you don't want to tweak something, especially with the injuries we've had this year," Condra said.

The plan all along was for Condra to be ready for Sunday's game against the Senators, his former team. That's one Condra really wants to play in, especially after missing the first meeting Dec. 9.

"We'll make sure I'm 100 percent for that one," Condra said smiling.

ONE MORE TIME: C Mike Angelidis was called up for the third time this season, though he didn't play in his previous two stints. He doesn't know if that'll change tonight. "It's tough, but it's part of the business," he said.

Angelidis, the captain for AHL Syracuse, acknowledged how much the number of callups by the Lightning have impacted the short-handed Crunch. "It's been tough," he said. "We obviously don't have a lot of forwards, the bare minimum." Asked who he's played on a line with, he quipped, "Who haven't I played with?"

LONG TIME COMING: Forward Mike Blunden's goal Tuesday in Toronto was his first NHL tally since January, 2012, and was more gratifying because he had to battle back from a right ACL/MCL surgery last season. "It was a long road back, but definitely that was the highlight," Blunden said. "It's been a while."

NUTS AND BOLTS: G Ben Bishop will start in net tonight. C Tyler Johnson also skated today. LW Joel Vermin, who is out 6-8 weeks after Wednesday's hand surgery, was put on long term injured reserve, giving much-needed cap relief, allowing the Angelidis callup.