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Lightning Goaltender Sidelined

December 29, 1997

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Daren Puppa probably will be sidelined until the weekend with back spasms.

Puppa injured his back Saturday when he twisted it while making a save against Boston.

Lightning trainer Curtis Bell said the problem is not related to surgery Puppa underwent in November 1996 to repair a herniated disc. The former Vezina Trophy finalist made just six appearances last season.

Although it is not likely he will start, team officials said Puppa could be in uniform Saturday when the Lightning are at home against Anaheim.

``Anytime you talk about his back, you have to be careful,″ Lightning coach Jacques Demers said.

Puppa, who underwent treatment Monday morning, said his back is ``getting better.″

Corey Schwab and Derek Wilkinson will split time during Puppa’s absence.

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