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At the Rink blog

Lindback returning to Lightning lineup

Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 11:26 AM

By Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Lindback returning to Lightning lineup

TAMPA -- Two teams looking to finish disappointing seasons in a bit of a positive way will meet Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Carolina Hurricanes.

For the Hurricanes, after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, the morning was time off to rest. For the Lightning, the morning skate was optional and only a handful of players were on the ice.

Anders Lindback, one half of the Lightning's goalie tandem of the future, along with Ben Bishop, will get the start in net Sunday, his first game back after missing 13 with an ankle injury.

The start also will mark Lindback's first game for new Lightning coach Jon Cooper, but Cooper played down the importance of that.

"I think it's important for Lindback to get in, to know he can get back and play an NHL game," Cooper said. "He shouldn't worry about what I'm thinking. He needs to focus more on making the first save and making sure his mindset is about playing well now and what he has to do over the summer. I think it's better for him that he gets through the game healthy and his leg isn't bothering him.

"I was getting a little worried that I wouldn't be able to see him until next season. It was totally up to him. A week and a half ago he was ready to go but then in his head he had a little bit of a setback. He came up to me a couple of days ago and said, 'Put me in coach.'"

"I'm excited to be back," Lindback said. "It feels like I've been out for a long time, but I'm feeling good, especially the last couple of days. It's been frustrating. Mostly I had to trust myself as I've been hurting. I feel comfortable with it now so I'm ready to go. I don't want to push anything because it can end up in a bad way."

Here is how both teams could assemble their lineups for their game Sunday:

HURRICANES

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Tuomo Ruutu - Jordan Staal - Jeff Skinner

Chad LaRose - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer

Nicolas Blanchard - Tim Wallace - Kevin Westgarth

Tim Gleason - Justin Faulk

Jay Harrison - Joe Corvo

Bobby Sanguinetti - Jamie McBain

Justin Peters

Dan Ellis

Injured: Cam Ward (knee), Drayson Bowman (upper body), Tim Brent (lower body), Joni Pitkanen (heel)

LIGHTNING

Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn - Vincent Lecavalier - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Tom Pyatt - Richard Panik

B.J. Crombeen - Nate Thompson - Pierre-Cedric Labrie

Eric Brewer - Matthew Carle

Sami Salo - Victor Hedman

Keith Aulie - Radko Gudas

Anders Lindback

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Dana Tyrell

Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh