Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Kristers Gudlevskis not thinking about a start

TAMPA — There is a chance yet for G Kristers Gudlevskis to grab a piece of history.

Called up from AHL Syracuse because of the elbow injury to Ben Bishop, Gudlevskis might play in one of the Lightning's final two regular-season games, coach Jon Cooper said.

If so, it is believed Gudlevskis, 21, would be the first goalie to play in the ECHL, AHL, NHL and Olympics in the same season.

"I don't think about that," Gudlevskis said Thursday. "You can't think too much if you're a goalie. You just go step by step, game by game."

Gudlevskis, drafted 124th overall in 2013, played 11 games with ECHL Florida, 34 games with Syracuse. He got worldwide headlines at February's Olympics with 55 saves for Latvia in a 2-1 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals.

"Works hard, tries to get better every day," Cooper said. "He doesn't come here thinking, 'Put me in, coach.' He's up here, 'Help me get better.' "

Asked if he was ready to play an NHL game, Gudlevskis said, "Not yet. I need to prove myself in practice, and maybe in the future I'm going to deserve to start a game. … Still hard to believe I'm sitting in this locker room."

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: With G Anders Lindback down and out of position with 8:43 left in the third period of Thursday's 4-2 win against the Flyers, D Radko Gudas figured his place was on the goal line.

Good thing. Adam Hall's backhand hit him in the chest, preserving Tampa Bay's 3-1 lead.

" 'Lindy' made the first save and kind of fell, so I just stood behind him to see what's going to happen," Gudas said. "Lucky (the puck) hit me."

Lindback gave Gudas a couple of pats on the back in thanks.

"It was a huge lift, and Lindy was the first guy to tap 'Gudy' and say thanks," Cooper said. "But we were the first to tap Lindy for his performance."

QUICK RECOVERY: D Mike Kostka, out three games because of a concussion sustained April 1 against the Canadiens, was back in the lineup.

And Kostka, plus-3 with two assists against Philly, couldn't be happier about a chance to play in the playoffs after breaking a finger in the first game of the 2013 postseason with the Maple Leafs.

"So being part of this team and the playoff push, I'm thrilled to be part of it," Kostka said.

NO REVENGE: Kostka was hurt by an elbow to the jaw from Montreal's Douglas Murray. Cooper said revenge won't be on the to-do list during the playoffs with Montreal: "I truly believe (Murray) didn't mean to hit (Kostka) in the head. I always think that makes a little bit of difference."

MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: D Sami Salo (upper body), hurt Tuesday against Toronto, did not play. Cooper said he believes he will play in at least one of Tampa Bay's two final games.

ODDS AND ENDS: Flyers and former Lightning C Vinny Lecavalier had three shots and was minus-1 in 14:33 of ice time. … Lightning RW Teddy Purcell played his 400th NHL game but with zero goals and two points in his past 10 was on a fourth line with C Nate Thompson and Richard Panik. … Forwards B.J. Crombeen, Cody Kunyk and Ryan Malone, and defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio also were scratched.

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