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Kristers Gudlevskis recalled by Lightning, Riopel heading to Syracuse

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With Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop’s status up in the air, the 24-year-old Latvian may be getting another shot in the NHL.

Photo by Scott Thomas

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis from the Syracuse Crunch.

Rumblings of a possible recall hit the internet on Tuesday night after Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop suffered a lower-body injury in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings. After the initial reaction of “not another injury” set in, the next question became which Syracuse Crunch back-stopper would be first in line for backup duty in Tampa.

This morning, Lindsay Kramer of the Post Standard tweeted that Gudlevskis is indeed the goalie headed south to play behind Andrei Vasilevskiy.

In 14 games played with AHL Syracuse this season, Gudlevskis is 5-4 with a 2.89 GAA and a save percentage south of 89 percent. While his counterpart Adam Wilcox has clearly had the better season of the two through a third of the season, it’s likely a combination of age and experience that led to the decision to recall Gudlevskis.

The 24-year-old Latvian has started in two career games with the Bolts dropping one contest and winning the other. That lone win came on April 11, 2014, when Gudlevskis made 36 saves en route to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Lightning are back in action on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.

In addition to the Gudlevskis recall, the Syracuse Crunch has recalled goaltender Nicola Riopel from ECHL Kalamazoo.

In 13 games played this season the former fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers has compiled a record of 4-8 with a 3.33 GAA and a save percentage just north of 88 percent.

Syracuse hosts the Hartford WolfPack tonight in their last contest before the holiday break