tampabay.com

Post-op Richards shines in 6-point performance

By TOM JONES
Published September 15, 2005


BRANDON - If Lightning center Brad Richards is feeling any effects from his January surgery to repair a tear in his abdominal wall, he didn't show it Wednesday.

Despite admitting he still feels some pain in his lower abdomen from the buildup of scar tissue, Richards was the most impressive player in Tuesday's two scrimmages at the Ice Sports Forum.

Okay, so the games count even less than preseason games, but the playoff MVP looked in midseason form with a six-point day as his team (Team Blue) defeated Team White, 10-5. Richards had a goal and five assists. Linemates Martin St. Louis and Fredrik Modin also had big days. St. Louis had two goals and three assists, while Modin had a goal and two assists.

Dmitry Afanasenkov had a hat trick for Team White.

Team Red got 20 saves from goalie John Grahame and a goal and an assist from prospect Adam Henrich to beat Sean Burke 's Team Black 3-2. Burke had 11 saves.

SEEING THE FUTURE: Speaking of Burke, he might have been the first to consider the Lightning true Stanley Cup contenders in 2003-04. The new Lightning goalie had a feeling the Lightning would win the Stanley Cup nearly four months before it did.

While with the Flyers, Burke lost to the Lightning, 5-2, on Feb. 17, 2004.

"They never took a shift off," Burke said. "They came at you every single shift."

The Lightning outshot the Flyers that night, 36-20, and scored five first-period goals on its way to a 5-2 victory.

"That night, I thought, "That's a heck of a team,"' Burke said. "I thought right then they they had a chance to win it all."

STILL WAITING: Defense prospect Gerard Dicaire continues to have tests to determine why he did so poorly in Monday's conditioning drills. He barely made it through the first drill of training camp, then was held out of Monday night's 3-mile run when he looked pale and complained of being light-headed. During his physical Monday, Dicaire told the Lightning he had an isolated fainting spell over the summer.

Dicaire had several tests Wednesday at Tampa General and will have at least one more today.

"He won't do anything until we get an official medical report telling us what is going on," general manager Jay Feaster said.

SLAP SHOTS: Forward Ruslan Fedotenko is expected in camp today after going to the medical clinic in Vail, Colo., where he had April hip surgery. He was expected to get clearance to begin participating in drills. ... Modin returned to the ice after missing part of Tuesday's conditioning drills with back spasms. ... All regular-season games will be televised, mostly on Sun Sports. See 9C for schedule. ... The Lightning signed an extension with WDAE-AM 620 to broadcast all preseason, regular season and postseason games through 2009-10.