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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said his left ankle, which on Saturday was hit flush by a shot from teammate Sami Salo, still is sore, and he did not practice Monday. But about Tuesday's game against the Flyers, Lecavalier said, "There is no thought of me not playing."
Lecavalier, who has four goals, 11 points in eight games, as well as a team-best 24 hits, was hurt just as the third period of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Rangers ended. Tampa Bay had closed to one goal with 21 seconds left on Steven Stamkos' second goal of the game and seventh of the season, and Salo's shot from the blue line was the team's last chance.
But the shot deflected slightly off New York's Brian Boyle and hit Lecavalier on the outside of the left ankle. Lecavalier went down face-first when hit and skated slowly off the ice, occasionally doubling over in pain. But X-rays and an MRI exam revealed no serious damage and the team said Lecavalier has a bone bruise.
Asked how the lineup would change if Lecavalier could not play, coach Guy Boucher said, "He'll play."
Lecavalier said he skipped Monday's practice simply to give the ankle a bit more time to heal, and he said he will keep icing and get other treatments.
"It's still pretty sore," he said. "But honestly, there's no thought of me not playing tomorrow."
Notes: Boucher said Anders Lindback, 5-1-0 this season with a 2.83 goals-against average and .911 save percentage, will get the start against the Flyers. ... Right wing B.J. Crombeen still is wearing a walking boot and still is using crutches, but both are said to be precautions to protect his injured left foot he said was hurt by a puck several games ago. Crombeen has not missed a game.