The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime. “With the win, coupled with the New York Islanders 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, the Lightning move to 9th place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot.” [Raw Charge]
Yanni Gourde's second goal of the season was a beautiful overtime game winner.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled with six minutes left in the first period, and then put back in to start the second. “Coach Jon Cooper said he knew Vasilevskiy was going back in the game. ‘The feeling I had was we were going to win and Vasilevskiy was going to win this game for us,’ Cooper said. ‘He just needed a six-minute break.’” [Tampa Bay Times]
Nikita Kucherov is the NHL's first star of the week. “In the past three games alone, Kucherov has earned 5 goals and 2 assists (7 points), and on March 23rd, completed the third hat-trick of his career. He is currently second to Sidney Crosby in goals scored. Kucherov also leads the entire league in power-play goals.” [Raw Charge]
91 Days of Stamkos: Day 85, Stamkos says nice things about Nikita Kucherov. “Imagine the Lightning being able to roll out a line that has two potential 40-goal scorers 20 minutes a night for an entire season? Would it even matter who the third person was? Dave Andreychuk could throw the skates on and pick up 40 assists between the two of those players.” [Raw Charge]
Boris Katchouk (#12 in white jersey) scored an empty net goal to help the Soo St. Marie Greyhounds defeat the Flint Firebirds 3-1. The Greyhounds lead 2-1 in the seven game series.
Taylor Raddysh (#17 in white) and Erik Cernak (#14 in white) each picked up an assist as the Erie Otters defeated the Sarnia Sting 5-3. The Otters have a commanding 3-0 lead in the seven game series.
Anthony Cirelli was held off the score sheet last night, but his performance across the first two games of the playoffs earned him OHL Player of the Week honors.
“Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack was stretchered off the ice after Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou hit into the netminder on the game-winning breakaway goal Monday.” Lack later tweeted to confirm he’s okay. [Puck Daddy]
“You might have heard that the United States women’s hockey team is boycotting the upcoming World Championship and grappling with USA Hockey about fair pay and support. The saga is ongoing and getting more dramatic (and worse for USA Hockey) by the day. You might be wondering what all of this is about. Let us explain.” [SB Nation]
The race for the Pacific Division title is on in full force. “Each of the top four teams in the Pacific Division has seven games remaining in their season, and only five points separates the first-place Anaheim Ducks from the fourth-place Calgary Flames. With only two weeks remaining, the race for top spot in the division could come down to the final day, but who escapes the regular season with top spot in the Pacific?” [The Hockey News]