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St. Louis, others nursing injuries

By TOM JONES, Times Staff Writer
Published October 23, 2005

BRANDON - The Lightning still was licking its wounds Saturday after Friday night's 4-1 loss to the Senators.

And it had a couple of new wounds to lick.

Right wing Marty St. Louis did not practice because of a bruised right thigh.

"It's not as bad as I thought," St. Louis said. "I iced it all night and it doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would."

Defenseman Chris Phillips was penalized for kneeing on the play, but St. Louis did not think the hit was dirty.

"He was just trying to stop me and got his knee out," St. Louis said. "It wasn't intentional."

The 5-foot-8 St. Louis joked, "If I was a little taller, it might have been a knee-on-knee hit."

Center Brad Richards left a trail of blood on the ice when he was struck above the right eye with a puck during Saturday's practice. He left the ice briefly, returned to finish practice, then went for stitches.

Oddly enough, Richards wears a visor during games, but not during practice.

Last week during practice in Atlantic City, N.J., defenseman Darryl Sydor, who does wear a visor, was saved from serious injury when a deflected Fredrik Modin slap shot hit his shield.

Had Sydor not been wearing a visor? "It would have been ugly, real bad," Sydor said.

Sydor, who is in his 13th NHL season, did not wear a visor when he broke into the league, but started wearing one a few years into his career when he was poked in the left eye during a melee.

"It scratched (the cornea)," Sydor said. "Ever since then, I've left it on. After a while, you just get used to it."

FORE: Lightning players will spend Monday swinging a different kind of stick.

Provided Hurricane Wilma doesn't create havoc in the bay area, the Lightning is scheduled to play golf at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor with the professionals competing in this week's PGA Chrysler Championship.

Each player will be paired with a pro and three amateurs on the Copperhead course. Most of the Lightning players are decent golfers, but Vinny Prospal, who has only been playing a few years, is the most excited. He is scheduled to play with Alex Cejka, one of the few professional golfers from Prospal's native Czech Republic.

"I don't know him personally, but, of course, I know all about him," Prospal said. "This will be great to play with him and get to meet him."

Prospal said he never played golf growing up. He played hockey along with a little soccer and tennis.

"How good am I?" Prospal said. "I'll get through it."

Center Vinny Lecavalier was asked how good a golfer he is.

"What," Lecavalier joked, "is that a rhetorical question?"

Admission to Monday's Lightning Foundation Pro-Am is free and will begin at 12:30 with a shotgun start. For more information, go to chryslerchampionship.com.

RETURNING THE FAVOR: One day after coach John Tortorella complained about Atlanta's Eric Boulton's elbow to the head of Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger, the Senators were complaining about a couple Lightning hits.

The Senators were angry that no penalty was called when Lightning rookie Evgeny Artyukhin hit Patrick Eaves from behind into the boards.

"Eaves gets a cut (above) his eye and there's no call on the play," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray was quoted as saying in the Ottawa Sun. "The official told one of our players it was a clean hit. That seems kind of strange."

The Sun article also made a reference to Lecavalier throwing an elbow at the face of Peter Schaefer.

[Last modified October 23, 2005, 01:21:14]

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