We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
At the Rink blog

Lightning keeping foot on gas despite clinching berth

Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 2:35 PM

By Lonnie Herman - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Share with your Friends


2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Lightning keeping foot on gas despite clinching berth

TAMPA -- In the closing moments of the Tampa Bay Lightning's win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, defenseman Michael Kostka sustained a concussion from a hit to the head he took from defenseman Douglas Murray.

Kostka's return date to the lineup is unknown. Murray was suspended three games by the NHL on Thursday.

"We're taking it day-to-day to see how I feel," Kostka said. "Surprisingly, I don't feel as bad as I thought I would. It's never happened to me before, so I don't really have a baseline as to how I would feel after something like that.

"Murray texted me right after the game and apologized. Classy move. I don't think it was malicious, that he was trying to do that. Needless to say it was still a bad hit."

After clinching a position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lightning coach Jon Cooper does not intend to allow his team to ease up when it hosts the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

"Our goal was to make the playoffs, now let's see if we can get home ice," Cooper said. "You just can't sit here and say, 'Well, we made the playoffs, now we have to rest guys.' That's not our mentality at all. We're going in and we want to beat Calgary. We don't care who we are playing, we need our guys to be in a playoff mindset going down the stretch here. That was our message. We have to play it out and it starts tonight."

Although the circumstances are different, Calgary coach Bob Hartley won't let his team play out the string.

"Every game down the road right to our last game in Vancouver, we are playing to win," Hartley said.

Calgary will be skating without forward Matt Stajan, who returned to Calgary for prearranged personal reasons, and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon, who sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Defensemen Chris Breen and Mike Cundari were summoned from the minors as replacements.

Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Lightning:

FLAMES

Mike CammalleriMikael BacklundJiri Hudler

Curtis GlencrossSean MonahanJoe Colborne

Bryce Van BrabantTJ GaliardiBrian McGrattan

Ben HanowskiLance BoumaKevin Westgarth

Mark GiordanoTJ Brodie

Kris RussellChris Butler

Chad BillinsChristopher Breen

Karri Ramo

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Matt Stajan, Paul Byron, Mark Cundari, Kenny Agostino

Injured: Tyler Wotherspoon (shoulder)

LIGHTNING

J.T. Brown - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell

Ondrej Palat - Valtteri Filppula - Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Ryan Malone - Nate ThompsonB.J. Crombeen

Victor Hedman - Sami Salo

Matthew Carle - Radko Gudas

Eric Brewer - Mark Barberio

Ben Bishop

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Keith Aulie, Tom Pyatt, Cody Kunyk, Richard Panik

Injured: Michael Kostka (concussion)

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 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh