Out since suffering a left shoulder injury March 18, Ryan Malone was back in the lineup for the Lightning on Tuesday after missing nine games.
It was somewhat surprising that Malone was able to return quickly from the injury suffered on a hit from Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo.
As of last week, Malone was only doing light skating without pads.
“The process just seemed to pick up every day,'' Malone said. “There has been improvements, and it's all you can ask for. … It's time to come back.''
Malone was not the only player back in the lineup. LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie returned after missing six games with an upper-body injury suffered on March 24 in Winnipeg.
With Malone and Labrie back, LW Benoit Pouliot was a surprise healthy scratch after taking morning-line rushes with C Steven Stamkos and RW Marty St. Louis.
G Anders Lindback, out with a high ankle sprain suffered March 20 in Toronto, took part in Tuesday's morning skate, his first since being placed on injured reserve.
Lindback said he had no limitations and is close to returning.
D Victor Hedman, meanwhile, has not been on the ice since suffering an undisclosed lower body injury Thursday in Carolina. Head coach Jon Cooper ruled Hedman out for Thursday's home game against Pittsburgh.
Lightning notes: Malone returns to lineup
Tampa Tribune | Apr 10