Fedotenko focuses on now

By EDUARDO A. ENCINA, Times Staff Writer
Published November 2, 2007

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Ruslan Fedotenko took time to think about his place in Lightning history and facing his old team for the first time Thursday. But the new Islanders wing said he has moved on from a disappointing 2006-07 and rocky parting.

Fedotenko, who scored 12 playoff goals during the Lightning's Stanley Cup run (two in Game 7 of the Cup final), dropped off dramatically last season, from 26 to 12. It culminated in the Lightning's first-round playoff loss to the Devils, when he dressed but didn't play in Game 5 and was scratched for Game 6.

"That was the past," he said. "I'm not really thinking about that. At that time, three years ago or two years ago, I felt I could have stayed there. But whatever happened last year, it just means I have a new beginning in a different place."

Fedotenko entered Thursday averaging 20:13 of ice time, and his second-period goal gave him four (two on the power play) with five assists in 10 games.

"It's a business," he said. "I had a lot of great times with that team, and I keep in touch with some of them. And what we did together always stays with you. But once the puck drops ... it's just like any other game."

KARLSSON GETS HIS CHANCE: Forward Andreas Karlsson,who strained his abdominal three days before the opener, debuted on a line with Craig MacDonald and Michel Ouellet, taking Mathieu Darche's place. He had no shots in 8:05 of ice time.

"I've been doing everything I can," Karlsson said. "You can't control what happens."

Coach John Tortorella pulled Karlsson aside during a recent practice, telling him to be ready.

"It was good to get some kind of feedback," Karlsson said. "I'm ready to play."

ODDS AND ENDS: Defensemen Doug Janik and Matt Smaby were healthy scratches. ... The schedule, which included six games in nine days, hasn't allowed center Ryan Craig (back) much opportunity to practice, but a minor-league conditioning assignment could be coming up. ... Islanders forward Mike Sillinger played his 1,000th regular-season game. He has played for 12 teams, including 121 games for the Lightning (1998-2000). ... Lightning forward Brad Richards is scheduled to launch his foundation - focused on providing exceptional experiences for sick children and advancing youth sports - this afternoon at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. ... The Lightning will conduct a holiday food drive before its next two home games, Saturday and Wednesday, on the Jeep-Chrysler Plaza to benefit Metropolitan Ministries. ... Former Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt signed with the Sabres.