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Lightning centre Jeff Halpern returns following June knee injury

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Lightning centre Jeff Halpern returns following June knee injury

The Canadian Press
By:

TAMPA, Fla. - Lightning centre Jeff Halpern was in the Tampa Bay lineup Thursday night for the first time since reconstructive right knee surgery in June.

Halpern, injured while playing for the United States at the hockey world championships, was acquired by Tampa Bay last February in a multiplayer deal with Dallas.

Halpern scored his first goal since April 2 from the slot in the second period of Thursday's game against Colorado.

Lightning left winger Ryan Malone also played Thursday after sitting five games due to an undisclosed upper body injury.

Tampa Bay recalled goalie Karri Ramo on an emergency basis from Norfolk of the AHL. He replaced Olie Kolzig, who missed Thursday's game due to an upper body injury, as the backup to Mike Smith. Tampa Bay also reassigned center Zenon Konopka to Norfolk.

Lightning forward Gary Roberts sat out for the eighth consecutive game because of an elbow injury. The 42-year old forward plans to retire after the season.

"Obviously, I'm frustrated by the injuries," he said. "Retirement, obviously, is something you think about at 42 years old. It's not something that I really wanted to bring up today, We've got enough things going on here without me bringing up that I'm going to retire next year."

Tampa Bay started Thursday with the NHL's worst record.

Roberts has 436 goals and 906 points in 1,213 NHL games. Groin and elbow injuries have limited him to 19 games this season.

The Avalanche got two players back from the injured list on Thursday. Darcy Tucker (knee) was in the lineup after missing 11 games, and fellow forward Ben Guite (ribs) returned after sitting out 17 games.

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Lightning centre Jeff Halpern returns following June knee injury