Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Gudas quick to get in Penguin's face

TAMPA — Rookie D Radko Gudas said he didn't have to get in the face of Penguins LW Brenden Morrow in between the second and third periods Thursday night.

He wanted to.

Gudas stood up for G Ben Bishop, whom Morrow took a run at earlier in the second, putting a shoulder to his head and knocking him down. There was no penalty called, and Bishop downplayed it, saying "we were just having fun."

But Gudas' response was symbolic in a particularly physical 6-3 loss to the Penguins, which included a combined 23 penalties for 60 minutes.

"We don't get pushed around," Gudas said. "It's a team mentality. If somebody pushes us around, we're going to go after him."

Gudas had four of the Lightning's 13 penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct penalty late. The Pens had 10 penalties.

At one point in the third, there were eight players in the penalty box for various reasons, and the reasons ran the gamut: Lightning RW B.J. Crombeen and Penguins D Douglas Murray for fighting, Gudas a double-minor for roughing, and even Lightning C Steven Stamkos for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"We showed up and we didn't get pushed back," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "The game started to get a little bit physical, and I thought we took it to them in that department."

MEDICAL MATTERS: If all goes as Victor Hedman plans, the defenseman should be back playing Saturday at Washington.

Hedman has missed four games since sustaining a lower-body injury April 4 against Carolina. He has been skating by himself and Thursday pushed himself in the morning skate.

Because the injury is not structural, Cooper said Hedman's status will be determined by his pain tolerance. "I really want to play and I'll do whatever it takes to win," Hedman said. "But if I'm not 100 percent, or at least 90 percent, I can do more harm than good for the team on the ice."

FINALLY: The only complaint Pierre-Cedric Labrie had about his first NHL goal was that it took 12 games. He felt he had so many opportunities before scoring Tuesday against the Senators in his 12th game. "It was time for it to happen," Labrie said. "I was just bringing the puck back to the net. I didn't expect it to go in; hockey karma, you get what you deserve. Hopefully, it's just one of many coming."

GOOD CAUSE: C Vinny Lecavalier said his Cut For A Cure event on Wednesday — Carle, Teddy Purcell, Alex Killorn and B.J. Crombeen also shaved their heads — raised $150,000 for pediatric cancer research. Donations can be made through May 3 at vinny4.com.

ODDS AND ENDS: Former D Pavel Kubina was honored as part of the team's 20th anniversary celebration. … RW Brett Connolly's second-period, power-play goal Thursday was his first tally in 55 games (Nov. 17, 2011). … C Tyler Johnson, who began the season with AHL Syracuse, was named an AHL first-team All-Star. Connolly and D Mark Barberio were second team. … Forwards Ben Pouliot, Dana Tyrell and Tom Pyatt were scratched.

 
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