Fedotenko's cheek cut by boards in Game 3

Updated: June 1, 2004, 3:05 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CALGARY, Alberta -- Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ruslan Fedotenko won't play Monday against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals. Defenseman Pavel Kubina also was scratched.

Ruslan Fedotenko
Fedotenko

Both suffered hard hits in Game 3.

Fedotenko hit his cheek on the top of the boards after he was checked by Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr late in the third period of Game 3. Kubina took an elbow to the head early in the first period of the same game.

Fedotenko was at the arena Sunday and Monday but didn't take part in the morning skate before Game 4. He also didn't speak to reporters.

Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said as late as Monday morning that the forward's status would be a game-time decision. It was then that Fedotenko was scratched for Ben Clymer.

Fedotenko has 10 goals in the playoffs, including four on the Lightning power play, which had been potent before the finals against the Flames.

"He's been a force out there in the playoffs, and it's time for other guys to step up," linemate Martin St. Louis said. "That's playoff hockey. You can't just feel bad that guys can't go. You've got to move on."

Brad Richards took Fedotenko's spot on the top line during the Lightning's five-on-three power play early in the first period. On his second shot of the advantage, Richards scored the only goal of the game.

"We knew there would be a lot of different combinations, we had two guys that haven't been in the lineup in a while," Richards said. "When you get this far, it doesn't really matter what the lines are.

"You just go out and play -- wing, center, defense -- it doesn't matter. We just want to get out there and do something for the team."

The Lightning are starting to rack up the injuries after going through the regular season practically unscathed. In 82 games, Tampa Bay lost only 34 man-games to injury, but in 20 playoff games they have already had 17.

There are two days off before Game 5 in Tampa on Thursday.

"We've been lucky throughout the year with injuries," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "The playoffs have been a different story."

Fedotenko was face down on the ice for several minutes while he was given medical attention Saturday night. He managed to skate off under his own power, but he wasn't well enough to play Monday when his team tried to tie the best-of-seven series.

Regehr's hit caught Fedotenko at an awkward angle, however, Flames coach Darryl Sutter insisted it was clean. He said Fedotenko was injured because of how and where he fell into the boards.

"It wasn't a borderline situation at all," Sutter said. "He cut his head in the worst part he can, right on the dasher [boards]. Three inches one way or the other and he probably doesn't even feel the hit at all."

Fedotenko sported a cut on the right side of his swollen face the next day.

Tortorella would not comment on the hit. Instead, he and his players chalked it up to being part of a heated series.

"I don't think we can get upset about it," said Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt. "We're not out to seek revenge. We have to go out and play our game and win. For us, the best way to do the best thing for [Fedotenko] is to play our game and win. That's the best way to avenge anything."

Pavel Kubina
Kubina

Kubina took the hard hit that led him to miss Game 4 in the opening minute of Game 3. He was slammed by Martin Gelinas, who received a penalty.

Kubina has four assists in 19 playoff games and was replaced in the lineup by forward Martin Cibak.

Clymer made just his second appearance in these playoffs. The 25-year-old right winger has been waiting for a chance to play since Game 5 of the opening round against the New York Islanders on April 23.

He and the other regular scratches skated a little longer on Monday and took part in some extra drills to be ready if Fedotenko couldn't play.

"We've all taken the necessary steps that if we have to go in the lineup, we'll be prepared," Clymer said before finding out he was in. "That sort of thing has been taken care of."

Going with Cibak left Tampa Bay with six active defensemen for Game 4. The Lightning had been using seven defensemen throughout the playoffs.

Information from ESPN.com NHL editor Sherry Skalko and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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