Anders Lindback in net tonight for Tampa Bay Lightning against the Panthers and old friend Jacob Markstrom

Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight for the Lightning against the Panthers.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight for the Lightning against the Panthers.

12

March

Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight for the Lightning against the Panthers. It’s an important game as the loser falls to the bottom of the league standings.

But Lindback also faces Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom, a lifelong friend from the town of Gavle, Sweden.

“We were pretty close,” Lindback said. “We grew up together about two blocks away from each other, the families knew each other. We played on the same team for quite a while too in the same organization.”

That would be Brynas IF Gavle, for which Lindback played from 2005-09. Markstrom was there from 2007-10. Lindback was drafted 207th overall by the Predators in 2008. Markstrom was drafted 31st overall the same year by the Panthers.

Asked if it will be weird to play against his buddy, Lindbck said, “Since we played on the same team, we’re used to competing against each other because we were competing for ice time. You always want to be the No. 1 and you always want to win, so it’s not a big deal at all. He’s kind of far away from me, too, in the game.”

Besides, he added, “There’s no friends out there tonight. I’m looking forward to being able to help the team win.”

Other stuff from the morning skate: Coach Guy Boucher said he likely will go with seven defensemen for the game with the Panthers, primarily to help ease Radko Gudas into the flow in his first NHL game. “That way it gives us the possibility and the luxury of making different pairs to help him, not give him too much ice time so he can’t swallow it,” Boucher said. “Try to ease him in, give him ice time but ice time that’s manageable so we don’t expose him.” … If Boucher goes with seven defensemen, Marc-Andre Bergeron will come in. Brian Lee, who has really struggled lately, is scratched. “Just give him a thinker tonight,” Boucher said, “pull back a little bit, give him time to think and refocus, so he’s back better when he comes back.” … Lee, by the way, is minus-13. Only two of 751 listed players are worse. … As one would expect, there was much talk about Gudas’ ever-growing beard which he has not shaved since Dec. 31. It’s gotten so bushy it has taken on a life of its own in that someone has started a twitter account called RadkoGudasBeard, and AHL Syracuse even had a Fear the Beard night. Asked why he started growing the beard, Gudas joked, “It’s cold in Syracuse. It keeps me warm.” Asked what it will take for him to shave it, Gudas added to reporters, “I don’t know. You guys are going to have to come up with something.” Gudas said the beard is a result of several factors. First, he is lazy and did not shave when he was in Florida for Lightning training camp. Then, the Crunch took a bonding trip to Lake Placid, so he didn’t have there. And when the Fear the Beard promotion was coming up, well, he couldn’t shave then. And so here we are. “He’s got a great beard,” Boucher said. “I don’t know if it makes him scarier or weirder, but I’ll take whatever he’s wearing if he plays like I’ve seen him play.”



[Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 2:37pm]

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