Lydman wastes no time

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET


 TAMPA -- Toni Lydman didn't waste any time making an impression last night.

 After missing 20 playoff games, the injured defenceman hit the scoresheet early, assisting on the Flames' first goal on a powerplay, whipping a wrist shot from the point that Martin Gelinas redirected through the legs of Bolts netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

 The 26-year-old Finn was playing his first game since suffering a concussion in Game 3 of the Vancouver series on a hit from Canucks forward Trevor Linden. The first game of that series was Lydman's first NHL post-season action.

 "The decision was just (made) after warmup," noted Lydman, who logged 16:47 of icetime including overtime, playing alongside Steve Montador. "It felt pretty good considering the time I took off.

 "The legs were there (and) a little rusty, maybe. The adrenalin took over after that."

 Lydman resumed skating during the San Jose series a couple of weeks ago but suffered a setback before continuing preparations in recent days for his comeback.

 He played 67 games during the regular season, his fourth with the Flames, while he has also represented Finland at the world championship the previous two years.

 "It's not easy -- he's missed 20 games -- so to step back in with four days of practice ... He's one of those high-end skilled guys who we miss, obviously," said Flames head coach Darryl Sutter, who is still missing starting defenceman Denis Gauthier, injured in the Detroit series.

 "Somebody asked me this morning and (I said) Toni Lydman was not playing. The trainers and him made the decision he was going to go into warmup and that was it. We were going to give him at least another day and he was going to make the call."

 To make room for Lydman in the lineup, the Flames scratched defenceman Mike Commodore, who has averaged 11 minutes of ice time in the playoffs but played less than three in Game 4. Commodore also turned the puck over in the neutral zone early in Game 4 before also taking a penalty that led to the five-on-three advantage that the Bolts converted into the winning goal.


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