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Latvia’s Gudlevskis remains with Tampa Bay

Feb 24, 2014, 10:59 PM EST

Latvia goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis blocks a shot by Canada during the second period of a men's quarterfinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

Kristers Gudlevskis made a name for himself with Latvia in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Now it looks like the 21-year-old goaltender might also be on Tampa Bay’s roster when the NHL schedule resumes, according to the Lightning’s Missy Zielinski.

They need him as an insurance policy because backup netminder Anders Lindback hasn’t been cleared to play after sustaining an ankle injury.

Gudlevskis was taken in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and has split the season between the ECHL and AHL, but he stopped a stunning 55 of 57 shots against the Canadians in the Olympic quarterfinals.

“Their goaltender played awesome,” Canada’s Carey Price said after the contest, per IIHF.com. “That was one of the best goaltending performances I’ve ever seen in a long time. He played a heck of a game.”

Tampa Bay is set to play in four games over six days starting on Thursday, so if Lindback doesn’t return soon, then Gudlevskis could make his NHL debut.

  1. Moop - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    It would be awesome to see him succeed in the NHL. After his play in the Olympics he certainly deserves a chance.

    • justaride88 - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:22 AM

      We had very high hopes for him here in Latvia way before Olympics. Hes only second ever NHL drafted goalie from Latvia ever, only other is former All Star Artūrs Irbe. Remember that Ted Nolan decided to put him in the net against Team Canada in first ever Olympic 1/4 final in nations history, when Edgars Masaļskis stole a game from Swiss day before.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        He’ll be the 3rd Latvian goalie in the NHL. Peter Skudra was undrafted though.

  2. jernster21 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Wasn’t there just an article saying that they were going to let him go? Ok then.

    • jernster21 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Nevermind, the other article was about Helenius. I was going to say, for someone who was drafted in 2013, that’s pretty quick to give up on someone, but it was someone else.

    • PhillySN - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      That was about their ’06 first round pick Helenius

      • PhillySN - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        Ha you corrected yourself before I hit post

      • jernster21 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        I should have double checked myself in the first place but I was immediately confused! :)

  3. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    I’m not ball busting, I just have to ask. did price really say that phrase “I’ve ever seen in a long time.”?

  4. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    He was great. Canada outshot Latvia 57-13, but only won 2-1. I guess he’ll be this generation’s Arturs Irbe.

    I bet Ted Nolan’s stock goes up this summer too. Should be on the short list of any teams looking for a new coach.

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