Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's Mike Kostka takes big hit

TAMPA — Lightning D Mike Kostka apparently was a pretty frightening sight after he took a vicious hit to the head from Montreal's Douglas Murray.

Kostka's neck was "contorted," teammate Alex Killorn said.

"He was out cold," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said.

Kostka, who was decked with 2:13 left in the third period with what seemed a targeted hit to the head, skated off on his own after several minutes on the ice and after Stamkos helped guide a stretcher to where Kostka laid.

"I don't know how he skated off," coach Jon Cooper said.

The official word after the game was Kostka still was being evaluated, but he was seen walking around the Tampa Bay locker room.

Murray, 6 feet 3, 240 pounds, was given a match penalty. He is eligible for supplemental discipline from the league.

"That's a tough one," Cooper said. "It's a fast game. It's an instinctive game. Those are the type of things we're trying to take out of the game. I'm sure he wasn't looking to hit him in the head. Maybe he thought Mike was going to get around him. I don't know."

Killorn, who confronted Murray, said Murray actually seemed "kind of concerned."

"He was like, 'I don't know. I don't know,' " Killorn said.

"As soon as the hit happened I was jumping over the boards," Stamkos said. "That's a scary scene."

TOUGH CALL: RW Teddy Purcell's apparent goal with 11.7 seconds left in the second period was disallowed because of "incidental contact" by J.T. Brown with Montreal G Carey Price. The score was tied at 1. The call had the potential to be controversial as replays showed no contact until after the puck was past Price.

But Brown was in the crease and there is a provision in Rule 69.3 that allows for goals to be disallowed if "an attacking player establishes a significant position in the crease so as to obstruct the goalkeeper's vision."

"I felt a little contact but it was after the puck had gone by," Brown said. "I was just trying to get to the front of the net."

Brown said the team was able to shrug off the disappointment.

"It's a sign of a good team," he said. "We didn't let that affect us. We just came back out in the third and played the exact same way we did at the end of the second."

PALAT HONORED: LW Ondrej Palat was named the league's rookie of the month for March. Palat, 23, who had five goals and 11 assists in 16 games and points in nine games, also was named in January.

MINOR MATTERS: F Adam Erne signed a three-year deal that begins next season. He will report to AHL Syracuse for the rest of this season on an amateur tryout agreement.

Erne, 18, drafted 33rd overall last summer, had 21 goals, 62 points and 65 penalty minutes in 48 games this season for Quebec of the junior Quebec league and played for the United States at the 2014 world championship.

PLAYOFF TICKETS: Single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Details to come.

ODDS AND ENDS: C Valtteri Filppula's 12-game points streak (five goals, 11 assists) ended. … Forwards B.J. Crombeen, Richard Panik and Cody Kunyk, and defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio were scratched.

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