Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Michael Kostka (21) Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Mike Kostka Returns to the Lightning Lineup Tonight


The Tampa Bay Lightning got some pretty bad news that Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop would miss the remainder of the regular season due to an injury in his wrist that he sustained in the opening minutes of Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Thankfully, today is just the opposite.

The Lightning announced this afternoon that defenseman Mike Kostka has been cleared by the Lightning medical staff and will be returning to the lineup tonight.

This couldn’t possibly come at a better time for the Lightning. In the same game that the Bolts lost Bishop, they also lost defenseman Sami Salo to an upper body injury.

According to the Lightning, Salo’s condition was not deemed to be serious and is listed as day to day; however, when you are fighting for a post season advantage, every day, every game counts.

The 6’1” Canadian defenseman will be a welcome face in the lineup. In the 16 games that Kostka has suited up for in a Lightning jersey, he has notched 2 goals and 3 assists for a total of 5 points to accompany a plus-3 rating. Now, when you add in the 9 games that he suited up as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks for earlier in the season, he has a total of 4 goals and 4 assists for a total of 8 points to accompany a plus-6 rating.

Tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take on former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have always been known as a very physical team, and to have someone like Kostka back in the lineup who can both deliver the hard hits as well as make the plays in front of the net is definitely a good thing for the Lightning.

What kind of effect do you think Kostka will have on the Lightning’s defense tonight? Do you think he’ll play a role in keeping the Flyers’ known physicality away from our top guys? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

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Tags: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning