Tampa Bay Lightning D Brendan Mikkelson was feeling a little sore but experiencing no headaches or wooziness a day after a violent, head-first tumble into the boards left him unconscious during a workout at the Forum.
"I'm pretty stiff and sore up here in the neck and shoulder area, but I don't have any headaches or anything, and there was nothing on the CT scans,'' Mikkelson said after sitting out Friday's morning skate.
Mikkelson fell awkwardly while racing for a loose puck with teammate Steven Stamkos during practice Thursday. After hitting the end boards and briefly losing consciousness, he was taken to Tampa General Hospital.
"I knew I was going to have to get on my horse if I was going to beat (Stamkos) to the puck, so I was skating back as hard as I could, and I don't know if our feet got tangled up or somebody just blew a tire or what,'' Mikkelson said.
"I guess I went in back shoulder first, and I felt like I was just winded at first. I was gasping for air there for a few seconds and the next thing I know, I'm looking up at (assistant athletic trainer) Mikey (Poirier).''
Mikkelson has only appeared in one game this season, and he was slated to sit out Friday's game as well, but Lightning coach Guy Boucher said the team is fortunate Mikkelson wasn't hurt worse.
"It wasn't pretty,'' Boucher said of Mikkelson's fall. "He went head first into the boards, and he wasn't moving. It wasn't looking good. So we'll just cross our fingers now.
"I mean, we got lucky there. I don't have a timetable (for his return), but he's a good player and he's going to be asked to play for us at some point or another so we're going to need him.''
Stamkos and the Rocket Richard Trophy he won for the second time in three years as the NHL's leading goal-scorer last season were together in the same building again Friday.
The Richard Trophy, which Stamkos won in 2010 and 2012, was on display in the West Plaza of the Forum all night.
"That's pretty cool that it's here, because fans don't get a chance to see it very much,'' Stamkos said. "I've been fortunate to win it twice, so it's great to be able to share that with everyone.''
The Richard Trophy was first introduced during the 1998-99 season. Vinny Lecavalier is the other member of the Lightning to win it, in 2007.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl WR Vincent Jackson turned in his football jersey for a Lightning sweater as he treated a group of nearly 2,000 U.S. military members and their families to the Lightning-Jets game.
Jackson's treat was just the latest in what he says will be a long line of donations he'll make to Tampa's military community through his Jackson in Action 83 Foundation.
"Growing up as a military brat myself, it was a no-brainer for me to start this foundation,'' Jackson said. "We have great military community here, and any time I can interact with them I have to jump right on it.''
Big Bird tale
A handful of Lightning players spent their Wednesday off on a chartered fishing expedition, and while some fish were hauled in, none were the big catch of the day.
That honor belonged to rookie D Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who inadvertently hooked a pelican that went after the bait on his line as he cast it into the water.
"It was epic,'' Labrie said. "I said, 'All right, I have to help him,' so I pulled him in, got the hook out and let him go. And he was fine. It was just a little strange. And I think he knew I was there to help him.''
Nuts and Bolts
RW Marty St. Louis went into Friday's game leading the Lightning in scoring with 12 points but also leading the NHL in turnovers with 11. ... Mikkelson, Labrie and D Marc Andre Bergeron were the Lightning scratches. … The Lightning scored three power-play goals in the first period Friday, giving them at least two power-play goals in each of their last three games.
Roy Cummings, Erik Erlendsson