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A wave of injuries batters defensemen


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000

TAMPA -- All of a sudden, the Lightning was short of defensemen.

Injuries that will keep Petr Svoboda and Pavel Kubina out of tonight's game against the Capitals at the Ice Palace, prompted the team to recall Cory Sarich and Bryan Muir from the IHL's Detroit Vipers.

To make room, Tampa Bay sent left wing Nils Ekman to Detroit.

Svoboda was lost after the second period of Friday's 4-3 overtime win over the Islanders. The injury was originally described as an aggravation of a hip flexor problem, but was reclassified as a lower back strain. Medical trainer Dave Boyer said the 34-year-old defenseman was placed on injured reserve, meaning he is out at least seven days. He will travel to Los Angeles to see Dr. Craig Morris, the team's rehabilitation coordinator who successfully treated Kevin Weekes' strained lower back during training camp.

Boyer said Kubina has a "very low grade" concussion.

Though they are not officially listed as injured, defensemen Andrei Zyuzin (five stitches under his right eye) and Craig Millar (hip flexor injury) are hurting but expected to play.

Tampa Bay can also turn to defenseman Maxim Galanov, who was acquired Friday off waivers.

LUCKY ZYUZIN: Zyuzin said he will wear a visor after being inadvertently hit just under the right eye Friday night by the stick blade of Islanders center Dave Scatchard. In addition to his stitches, Zyuzin has a swollen and black eye.

Zyuzin said it is painful when he moves the eye to look to the right. He knows how close he came to a disabling injury.

"I freaked out," he said. "I thought it went in my eye. I couldn't open it."

CLOUTIER UPDATE: Boyer said goaltender Dan Cloutier received a cortisone shot Friday for his stubborn left biceps tendinitis. He also is scheduled to see Morris in Los Angeles. Boyer said Cloutier could be ready for Friday's game against the Canadiens at the Ice Palace.

ON THE BALLOT: Captain Vinny Lecavalier is the only Lightning player to be included on the ballot for the 2001 All-Star Game Feb. 4 in Denver.

Beginning Friday, fans can vote on, at league arenas and select Wendy's restaurants.

CANCER FIGHT: The team will donate $2 to "the fight against cancer" from every single-game ticket sold to tonight's game. The Yerrid Foundation will match the total.

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