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Holmqvist takes blame for end
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published October 14, 2006
SUNRISE - There was no doubt in Johan Holmqvist's mind who was responsible for Friday's 3-2 loss to the Panthers.
"I have no excuse," the Lightning goaltender said. "It was a bad goal and a bad penalty."
Holmqvist had a point. He was called in the third period for playing the puck in the restricted area, and Jay Bouwmeester's winner went through Holmqvist's legs from near the blue line.
But Holmqvist did much more good than harm in his Tampa Bay debut, and he made 24 saves, including enormous ones in the third period on Stephen Weiss at the tail end of a two-on-one and Todd Bertuzzi to preserve the tie.
"He played real well," Lightning left wing Ryan Craig said. "It's too bad we couldn't get enough goals for him."
Holmqvist, 28, playing his fifth NHL game and first since Dec. 11, 2002, for the Rangers, said he is well aware of a goalie's restrictions on playing the puck. He said he tried to release the puck before his stick went into the restricted area.
"But I wasn't quick enough," he said.
He said he might have been partially screened on Bouwmeester's shot.
"But it's my job to find the puck," he said, "and I didn't find it."
GAINING TIME: Dan Boyle entered Friday second in the league with an average 27:30 of ice time. Coach John Tortorella said he might get more.
Boyle, like so many of his teammates, is struggling offensively with zero points and a minus-3 rating.
Tortorella said the last thing to do is cut the defenseman's playing time.
"For him to get out of it, he needs to play, to keep trying to feel the ice and make something happen," he said. "To put Danny Boyle on the bench, to take minutes away from him when he's not producing, that's the worst thing you can do to him because he overthinks things. We want him to go."
Tortorella said he envisions playing Boyle up to 37 minutes. That is seven more than Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, who leads the league.
"He's such an efficient skater. He's effortless," Tortorella said of Boyle. "That helps with being able to throw him right back out there."
FOOT ACTION: Defenseman Paul Ranger, averaging 21:31 of ice time, said he has no discomfort from the left foot that was fractured during the first day of training camp scrimmages.
"The trainers here are pretty good," he said.
Ranger also credits a bone stimulator trainer Tommy Mulligan said uses sound waves to increase the cells needed to heal bone.
SOFT HANDS: For those who believed the Panthers got a one-dimensional player when they acquired Bertuzzi in the Roberto Luongo trade, think again.
The right wing entered Friday tied for second in the league with six assists.
"We knew we were getting a power forward and a guy we knew could drive to the net," Florida coach Jacques Martin said.
"A bit of a surprise is his ability to find his teammates and make plays. We're really pleased with Todd."
ODDS AND ENDS: For the first time this season, the Lightning was outshot by an opponent. Florida had 27 shots to Tampa Bay's 23. ... Lightning center Andreas Karlsson (groin) missed his third straight game. "Don't ask me any more about Karlsson until he plays a game," Tortorella said. ... Mulligan said right wing Rob DiMaio (concussion) will see a doctor next week at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. ... Lightning general manager Jay Feaster is in Williamstown, Pa., for the funeral of his father, Harry William Feaster, who died Thursday after an extended illness.