Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kristers Gudlevskis not thinking about Game 3

Coach Jon Cooper says the Lightning will “digest” its goaltending situation before Game 3 but there is no goalie controversy after Anders Lindback is pulled for Kristers Gudlevskis in Game 2.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Coach Jon Cooper says the Lightning will “digest” its goaltending situation before Game 3 but there is no goalie controversy after Anders Lindback is pulled for Kristers Gudlevskis in Game 2.

TAMPA — When Lightning coach Jon Cooper declined to name his starting goaltender for tonight's Game 3 at Montreal's Bell Centre, he set off speculation he might go with rookie Kristers Gudlevskis.

It didn't matter that Cooper rarely names his starter or that after Friday's 4-1 Game 2 loss in the Eastern Conference first-round series, he stated, "There's no goaltending controversy." Pulling Anders Lindback in favor of Gudlevskis in the third period lit the fuse.

Gudlevskis, 21, who played one regular-season game after his callup from AHL Syracuse and allowed a goal on three shots in Game 2, said he had not heard if he was playing in Game 3.

"I don't think so much forward," he said Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "This is a practice day. I work hard. (Today) is a game day. We'll see."

What has been seen so far from Gudlevskis is pretty impressive.

He got worldwide attention with his 55-save effort for Latvia in a 2-1 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals of February's Olympics. He made 36 saves in his NHL debut April 11 in a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. It is believed he is the first goalie to play in the ECHL, AHL, NHL and Olympics in the same season.

"As a goalie, I can take every experience I can get," Gudlevskis said. "(Friday) was another day when I can get experience."

Lindback, who stopped 77 of 79 shots in his last three regular-season games, has been less efficient in the playoffs, with a 3.69 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage (eight goals allowed on 67 shots).

"We'll digest this and get back to work (Saturday)," Cooper said.

MEDICAL MATTERS: LW Ondrej Palat (upper body) skated Saturday and said he would be a game-time decision for Game 3. He said an April 11 hit from Columbus D Jack Johnson, which included contact with Palat's head, caused the problem. … RW J.T. Brown said he was "feeling good" after an "awkward" but clean hit in Game 2 from Montreal D Alexei Emelin tweaked his back. He said he expected to play tonight.

BEST VENUE: Cooper can't wait to play Game 3, and not just because it will be crucial to deciding the series. "It's a phenomenal environment for anybody, whether you're a hockey fan or not, to go up there," Cooper said of the Bell Centre. "The fans are great. They're hockey fans. It's just a lot of fun to play there."

WATCHING: Ten Lightning players in this series have made their playoff debuts. But two players with playoff experience — right wings B.J. Crombeen and Tom Pyatt — have yet to play.

Both said the situation is disappointing, but they also said the right things.

"It's a challenge," said Crombeen, who played 16 postseason games with the Stars and Blues from 2007-12. "As a player, all you can do is work your hardest and give your best. Make sure I'm in the best shape and ready if called upon. It's out of your hands beyond that."

Pyatt played for the Canadiens from 2009-11 and was in 25 postseason games. The Lightning was 8-0-4 in the last 12 regular-season games in which he played. Told he should bring that up to Cooper, Pyatt smiled. "Yeah," he said, "I'll mention that."

MOVING: Former Lightning player John Tucker, who lives in the Tampa area, is the new coach and assistant general manager of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. The team, which is affiliated with the NHL Sabres and is in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, is for players 16-20 looking to land college scholarships. Tucker says he will keep his hand in the XTRAice rink he help found in Tampa and is devoted to hockey instruction for kids.

MINOR MOVE: D Jake Dotchin, 20, drafted 161st overall in 2012, signed an entry-level deal. Dotchin, 6 feet 3, 209 pounds, had 11 goals, 36 points, 121 penalty minutes and was plus-22 in 63 games this season with Barrie of the junior Ontario league.

Kristers Gudlevskis not thinking about Game 3 04/19/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to usher in a new era of golf.

    Jordan Spieth, left, stands on a mound to look at his ball on the 13th hole after hitting onto the driving range.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for the bullpen.

    Sergio Romo has a 6.12 ERA this season, but his career 0.98 WHIP is best in the majors, and he has held righties to a .189 average.
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.