Ma­neu­ver­ing un­usual back-to-back sit­u­a­tions Hed­man hurt in col­li­sion with ref

Tampa Bay Times - - Lighting Report - BY DI­ANA C. NEARHOS Times Staff Writer

BROOK­LYN, N.Y. — Back-to-back games are com­mon in the NHL, but it’s still not of­ten that a team finds it­self in a tri­an­gle of them the way the Light­ning did this week­end.

Tampa Bay played at the Sabres on Satur­day and at the Is­lan­ders on Sun­day. Buf­falo was in the sec­ond game of its own back-to-back, hav­ing played at Carolina on Fri­day, and the Is­lan­ders were in the same boat af­ter play­ing the Rangers on Satur­day.

The Light­ning had the worst of it, hav­ing trav­eled from Buf­falo to Brook­lyn af­ter Satur­day’s game. The Is­lan­ders had a mati­nee at home at the Bar­clays Cen­ter on Satur­day.

Tampa Bay had been weirdly suc­cess­ful in the sec­ond half of back-to-backs, 3-1-0 be­fore Sun­day’s 5-1 loss. Granted, the Light­ning has been weirdly suc­cess­ful in gen­eral, on pace for 131 points, which would tie the 1995-96 Red Wings for sec­ond most in NHL his­tory. But to be that in sec­ond game of back-to-backs is im­pres­sive.

F Mathieu Joseph, one year re­moved from the AHL, said that league’s three-games-in-three-days be­ing even tougher men­tally with long bus rides in­volved.

“Back-to-backs are dif­fer­ent,” he said. “The game is faster (in the NHL). But still, I’m glad there are no more three-in-threes.”

Vic­tor Hed­man ran into a ref­eree in the sec­ond pe­riod and did not re­turn to the game.

He was look­ing to­ward the play as he skated in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. The ref­eree was skat­ing back­ward to­ward Hed­man, and the two col­lided.

Coach Jon Cooper did not have an up­date on Hed­man’s sta­tus af­ter the game but said Hed­man did not go through con­cus­sion pro­to­col.

Sit­ting on the bench af­ter the col­li­sion, Hed­man ges­tured to­ward his left eye. His face was red and puffy, but there was no vis­i­ble bleed­ing on the TV broad­cast.

“It was kind of a freak, fluke play,” D Ryan McDon­agh said.

D

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