NEW YORK - For long stretches of time, D Dan Boyle sat at the end of the Lightning bench watching the action on the ice as a spectator with the best view of the game.
But considering his view the past five weeks from the press box, it was a welcome change.
Boyle, who was activated off the injured list Monday, made his season debut in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers after missing the first nine games while recovering from surgery to repair three severed tendons in his left wrist. Boyle was credited with playing 11 minutes, 38 seconds - although considering the problems the league is having with its new off-ice score sheets, the accuracy of those minutes is not completely trustworthy - most of that on the power play.
'It's good to know that I came out of it without being re-injured, that's the one good thing that came out of this,' said Boyle, who didn't register a shot on goal and had one hit. 'I didn't get anything done, but I didn't hurt myself so I guess that has to be a positive.'
The plan going into the game was for Boyle to play exclusively in power-play situations or four-on-four. His first shift came at the 11:17 mark of the first period and he stayed out for that entire power-play chance (the off-ice officials had Boyle playing three shifts before that in the first period) as well as Tampa Bay's second opportunity at the 15-minute mark of the first. He was also on the ice late in the game with the Lightning trailing by two goals.
DISPLACED: Several members of the Lightning traveling party are big Boston Red Sox fans and with a night off Sunday - the only non-game night for Tampa Bay during the scheduled seven games of the World Series - many were looking forward to catching Game 4 from the comfort of their hotel room.
But a cable outage meant the rooms were without television service. So when game time arrived, a couple made their way to the hotel restaurant, where the television had a satellite connection and was able to broadcast the game.
Among those who watched the final out of Boston's victory to complete the four-game sweep were D Doug Janik, team trainer Tom Mulligan and radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin.
WHIRLWIND WEEKEND: Not since pee-wee has D Matt Smaby had a weekend like the one that just passed.
Smaby played for Tampa Bay on Thursday against the Flyers after arriving early Thursday morning from the game the previous night in Washington. On Friday, Smaby was re-assigned to the AHL Norfolk Admirals and played games Friday and Saturday in Norfolk before boarding a bus to Philadelphia for a late-afternoon game against the Phantoms. After the game Sunday, Smaby boarded a train for New York to join the team after he was recalled.
'It was definitely a long weekend with lots of travel, but I was able to play a lot of minutes,' he said. 'The train ride was nice, though, because I was finally able to put my feet up.'
NUTS AND BOLTS: C Craig MacDonald took six stitches to his upper lip after taking a hit from New York D Fedor Tyutin in the first period but returned for the start of the second period. ... C Brad Richards played in his 500th NHL game, the third player in franchise history to play in 500 games with Tampa Bay. Vinny Lecavalier tops the all-time list with 639 games; D Pavel Kubina appeared in 531. ... Richards had his six-game scoring streak snapped. ... C Andreas Karlsson, Smaby and Janik were healthy scratches. ... The Rangers have sold out 81 consecutive home games dating to Oct. 31, 2005. ... D Brad Lukowich played a season-low 13:35.