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2011 NHL Playoffs, Lightning Vs. Capitals: Simon Gagne Hopes To Play In Game 3

When Simon Gagne hit the ice head first in Game 1 of the Lightning's second round series against the Capitals, it appeared as though he had a very serious head or neck injury. But he has responded to early tests very well, and is hopeful that he can play in Game 3 on Tuesday night. According to Damian Cristodera of the St. Petersburg Times, Gagne considers himself lucky that the injury was not more serious.

"The way I feel right now, it's positive," Gagne said. "I'm day to day. We'll see how it goes."

What might be the best sign is that Gagne did not lose consciousness at any point during the hit or the immediate aftermath. Erik Erlendsson of Tampa Bay Online reports that Gagne remembers the whole thing.

"I remember everything. I remember the hit, everything," he said. "It looked a lot worse than people think."

I'm not sure if I would expect Gagne to return to the lineup on Tuesday, but the fact that he feels like he is ready to return means that his injury is coming along very well. Even if he doesn't play for a while, this injury could have been much worse.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.