SUNRISE, Fla. -- Defenseman Radko Gudas, called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Monday, will make his NHL debut Tuesday when the Lightning visit the Florida Panthers.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he was hoping Gudas would bring a physical presence to the Tampa Bay lineup -- he's fourth in the AHL with 207 penalty minutes, along with leading the league with a plus-32 rating.
"He's got a major upside in terms of his physicality," Boucher said. "He's one of those guys that will be compared to [former New York Islanders defenseman Darius] Kasparaitis, if you remember him. He's a major menace and threat on the ice. He hits guys extremely hard at moments they don't expect. He's a warrior. What's good, too, is that the last two years he's made his game a little calmer in the sense that he chooses those moments now a lot better than he used to."
Boucher said Tuesday he was leaning toward using seven defensemen and 11 forwards Tuesday, although he added he could change his mind during pregame warmups. He said he wanted to give himself flexibility in terms of defense pairings and Gudas' ice time.
Anders Lindback will start in goal, with Mathieu Garon the backup. Garon had missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury. Cedrick Desjardins, who started Saturday, was return to the AHL on Monday.
The Panthers will be going with the same lineup as the one that took the ice Sunday in a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. That includes Jacob Markstrom in goal for a fifth straight game. Markstrom will be looking for a better start than he's had recently -- he's allowed at least one goal in the first 2:35 of each of the previous three games.
Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said forward Scottie Upshall, who skated before the Panthers' morning practice Tuesday, still needed a little more time and was questionable for a road game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday’s game:
Pierre-Cedric Labrie - Tom Pyatt
Injured: Benoit Pouliot (upper body)
Scratched: Alex Kovalev