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Quick Strikes: Kucherov’s shootout move though

It was sweet.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What even was this? There was speculation that it was a mistake, but then Steven Stamkos put that rumor to bed.

Anyway.

The Bolts

Kucherov plays mind games with Lehner in shootout. "Kucherov uses a strategy that is less about shooting and more about mind games. In fact, he doesn’t really shoot at all. He lets the puck do the work." [Puck Daddy]

Lightning at Sabres recap: Bolts bounce back for shootout win. "Cooper had Witkowski playing literally in McKegg’s position as he spent most of the 10 minutes he was on the ice as he played on the wing with Gabriel Dumont and JT Brown." [Raw Charge]

Editorial: I refused to call you Wallcox. "Alex Ackerman says goodbye to Adam Wilcox, who was traded to the Florida Panthers organization this past week." [Raw Charge]

Lightning tops Sabres in shootout. "He brought the schoolyard to the big stage," coach Jon Cooper said. "But I'll tell you what, you better score on that. And he did." [Tampa Bay Times]

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy gets bittersweet 'dream come true.' "When I first got here, I was looking at him like, 'This guy is the best goalie in the NHL,' " Vasilevskiy said. "I told him he's like my old brother, old teacher. I'm really thankful for him. He's a nice guy and unbelievable goalie. He'll stay in my heart forever." [Tampa Bay Times]

Nikita Kucherov's school yard move keeps Tampa Bay moving up the standings. "But it was the shootout goal by Kucherov, which blew up social media around the league on a debate whether it was intentional or not, improved Tampa Bay to 8-2-2 in the past 12 games." [Lightning Insider, subscription]

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman prepares for Round 2 of hard decisions. "The Lightning has an estimated $18 million in cap space next season, according to the cap website capfriendly.com. But is that enough to sign pending restricted free agents Drouin and forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat this summer?" [Tampa Bay Times]

The League

What is going on with the Colorado Avalanche? Last night’s game was appallingly bad.

Six Jets score against Avalanche. "Connor Hellebuyck makes 22 saves, just misses back-to-back shutouts." [NHL]

The LA Kings, with Bishop in net, lost to the Canucks last night. "It’s tough when you get two unlucky bounces off your own guys, and then guys fought back there. It was just too little too late there, but obviously if those two don’t go in, it could be a three-two game for us." [LA Kings Insider]

(Get the joke?) Zeitgeist: NHL to permanently retire No. 66 in honor of Josh Ho-Sang. "No NHL player will ever again be able to wear Ho-Sang’s number 66, a move the league says is in recognition of the 21-year-old’s unique journey to the pros and all of the positives he represents for the sport." [LHH]

FRS NHLIt’s a mistake to write off the 2017 NHL Draft class. "This year’s top six or seven players are pretty standard across most lists, but the field opens up quite a bit after that. Where players are drafted will depend heavily on a combination of teams’ scouting staff bias, team preferences, and to an extent, recency bias." [Fan Rag Sports]

Alex Ovechkin delivers pizza to shocked Capitals fans. "Customers who ordered the special on Friday were entered in a sweepstakes to have the All-Star personally deliver their pizza while $1 from each order went to the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation." [RMNB]