WINNIPEG — G Kristers Gudlevskis was recalled from AHL Syracuse on Friday and could start tonight against the Blackhawks in Chicago.
With starter Ben Bishop playing each of the first eight games, including Friday in Winnipeg, it makes sense to give him a break. Coach Jon Cooper said that Kevin Poulin, who opened the season as Bishop's backup, may not be the one who plays tonight. And Gudlevskis, 23, has been performing well for the Crunch, going 2-0 in stopping 53 of 55 shots in his first two starts.
Poulin, claimed off waivers from the Islanders in late September, got the backup job out of camp, as it made more sense for Gudlevskis to be in Syracuse so he could play instead of sitting on the bench.
Gudlevskis has made just one NHL start, stopping 36 of 38 shots in a win over the Blue Jackets on April 11, 2014. He also appeared in two games in relief in the 2014 playoffs.
BOYLE OUT: C Brian Boyle missed Friday's game with an undisclosed injury, but Cooper said it's not long term. Boyle has appeared in every game and practiced Thursday in Nashville. Cooper said the veteran "woke up not feeling great." … D Nikita Nesterov, available after serving his two-game suspension for boarding the Stars' Curtis McKenzie on Oct. 15, was scratched.
FOND MEMORIES: The MTS Centre is a special place for the Lightning. C Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal in the 2011-12 season in it. Friday, he played in his 500th career game in it. "A lot of good things in this building," Stamkos said.
Winnipeg is also where the Lightning's touted Triplets line was first united, Oct. 24, 2014. When RW Brett Connolly got hurt, RW Nikita Kucherov was added to a line with C Tyler Johnson and LW Ondrej Palat. In that same game, LW Jonathan Drouin scored his first NHL goal. "You don't forget that one," he said.
ON TORTS: Lightning video coach Nigel Kirwan is good friends with John Tortorella. The two have known each other since Tortorella coached the Lightning from 2001-08. Kirwan had a sense that Tortorella's "competitive fire" to coach had not burned out and expects him to adapt well to his new job coaching Columbus, where he was hired Wednesday.
"He is who he is. He's his own man, and I appreciate that and have respect for his honesty," Kirwan said. "I think in the situations in Vancouver and New York (jobs from which Tortorella was fired), I'm sure it had some impact on him. He's a smart guy and knows how to adapt and change if he feels he needs to. But I think Torts knows how to get the job done."
RW Ryan Callahan, who played for Tortorella with the Rangers from 2008-13, credits the coach for giving him an opportunity and having a "huge influence on my game, how I play. …He came in and gave us an identity, having a blue-collar team, willing to do anything, work hard. I think he's going to try that with Columbus; it's his kind of style."