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At the Rink blog

Lindback, Markstrom take long-time friendship to NHL

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:09 PM

By Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Lindback, Markstrom take long-time friendship to NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Anders Lindback and Jacob Markstrom grew up as buddies in the small town of Gavle, Sweden, and Tuesday the two goalies will face each other in the NHL for the first time when the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

Markstrom was the first goalie off the ice when the Panthers had their morning skate, and Lightning coach Guy Boucher confirmed Lindback would be his goalie after he sat out a 4-3 loss against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Markstrom and Lindback played with and against each other in the Swedish Elite League before coming to North America.

With each standing 6-foot-6, they're among the tallest goalies in the NHL.

"I don't know what it is, maybe something from our spring that goes through our little neighborhood there," Lindback said. "We play kind of the same a lot of the ways, but also we have differences in our game. We've been so many years together, following each other up."

Lindback said the two remain good friends and talk on a regular basis.

Markstrom, though, downplayed the goalie matchup.

"Obviously, it's fun to see a familiar face," he said, "but when the puck drops, it's a hockey game and we're here to win the hockey game."

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It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday