OTTAWA - Martin St. Louis, sidelined with an MCL sprain of his right knee, skated for the first time since the March 15 injury and was pleased with his progress. But in retrospect, the initial estimate of how much time he might miss -- 10 to 14 days -- was too short.

"My next step is to see how I feel later today, take it a day at a time,'' said St. Louis, 39, who joined Chris Kreider and two coaches taking shots at Henrik Lundqvist at Canadian Tire Center Thursday morning. "I was on the ice probably an hour. I'm not pushing it extra hard; we'll see how I respond. I'm encouraged how I felt, thought it was a good step.''

St. Louis, who has 20 goals and 27 assists, missed his fifth straight game. He had scored two goals in his last three games before the injury.

"I'm very optimistic the way it's progressed the last four or five days,'' he said. "I've never had this type of injury, so it's tough for me to gauge it, to compare. The MCL is more common and easier to come back from, in terms of the time period. I felt very fortunate.''

Lundqvist excited

Lundqvist, on the bench to back up Cam Talbot, knows he'll get a long-awaited start during the weekend. "I'm getting real excited to play,'' he said. "Just a few days away. I've never been so excited to go to a morning skate. It's the longest break I've had in my career.''

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Lundqvist (25-11-3, 2.25 GAA, .922 save percentage) had not dressed for 24 games.

He's been out since Feb. 2 with a blood vessel injury ini his neck after being struck in the throat by a shot on Jan. 31. His first full practice was Wednesday.

Glass gets his first

For Tanner Glass and his teammates, little things mean a lot. The goal that made it 5-1 was the fourth-liner and penalty-killer's first of the season.

Glass came out of the penalty box, took a pass from Kevin Hayes on a two-on-one and scored on a low wrister. "The way it's gone for me, I'm making sure the puck stays on and goes where I want it to go instead of looking off," Glass said. "What I'm trying to do is shoot low blocker.''"All of his teammates are happy for him," Alain Vigneault said. " . . . He always gives his best effort and he's a good team guy. That's why he's here."

Girardi needs stitches

Dan Girardi received stitches in his arm to close a "gash" from a shot, Vigneault said