Varada to make debut vs. Tampa

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- Vaclav Varada is ready to roll.

But Mike Fisher will wait one more day before deciding whether his strained shoulder will be ready in time for him to suit up Friday against the Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"I just want to see how it feels (today) after practice and then decide. It's still a little tight," said Fisher.

Varada can't wait to get back. He has been sidelined five weeks with a sprained MCL he suffered in the club's first pre-season game against the Maple Leafs and doesn't want to wait anymore.

"I could have played last Saturday against Boston, but they just wanted to be careful and make sure it was fully healed," Varada said following practice yesterday at the Lightning's facility.

Coach Bryan Murray has decided to put Varada on the second unit of the power play with the job of going to the front of the net.

"I just have to do what I can do, I know what my job is and I'll do it the best I can," said Varada.

CHANGING LINES: Practice is a good time to experiment and that's what Murray did yesterday. Here's how it looked: Chris Neil-Dany Heatley-Daniel Alfredsson, Peter Schaefer-Jason Spezza-Brandon Bochenski, Antoine Vermette-Bryan Smolinski-Fisher and Varada-Chris Kelly-Brian McGrattan. Murray's assessment: "I just thought I'd get them thinking a little bit ... it didn't work."

AROUND THE BOARDS: D Wade Redden (sore back) didn't practise, but should be in the lineup against the Bolts. "Lower-body injury," quipped Redden. "I should be fine."


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