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Quick Strikes: Lightning top pick Cal Foote scores in his first AHL game on his first shot

Kuch’s 100 points, Yanni’s record breaking year, and the disaster in Saskatchewan.

NHL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Callan Foote (52) watches his pass against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Buffalos 7-5 to put themselves back to the top of the Eastern Conference. [Raw Charge]

To say the crowd exploded is an understatement. It being “Fan Appreciation Night”, the crowd at Amalie Arena was already in a positive mood with the pregame reveal of the Top 25 Favorite Lightning Players. With Cirelli scoring that early, I honestly thought the roof was going to collapse.

In the contest, Nikita Kucherov tallied his 100th point of the season, he is only the third Bolt to ever do so. [Raw Charge]

Lecavalier holds the franchise record with 108 points, a plateau he reached in 2006-07 at 26 years-old. He scored 52 goals that season and finished 4th in Hart Trophy voting (Sidney Crosby won with Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur finishing second and third). It was in the same season that St. Louis also broke the 100 point mark as he finished with 102 points. For his part, St. Louis scored 43 goals of his own as he and Lecavalier ran roughshod over Eastern Conference goalies that season.

The Thunder Bolts squad is the greatest.

Did you know Yanni Gourde hadn’t scored in a whole month until his goal last night? Also, that his goal now sets the franchise record for goals by a rookie with 25? That feels so shocking to me because he’s played so well during his 13-game goalless streak. [Tampa Bay Times]

Gourde broke in alone against Sabres G Chad Johnson, settled a bouncing puck, then wristed it past Johnson’s glove. Gourde’s last goal before that had been March 6, when he scored twice against the Panthers. Gourde also had two assists in the game to give him the team record for rookie points in a season. At 64, he bettered the 62 of Brad Richards in 2000-01.

New friend Ryan joins the Lightning Foundation in meeting a bunch of very special kids after the game.

POLL: “Are you happy with HOW the Lightning have gotten to where they are this season?” [Raw Charge]

It’s a safe bet to say that if a mystical deity had appeared before Tampa Bay Lightning fans on April 10, 2017, the day after the team had concluded their season by winning their final three games and eight of their last 10 to finish one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and one point out of the playoffs, and promised that the Lightning would have 110 points, be tied for the lead in the Atlantic Division and comfortably slotted into the postseason on the morning of April 6, 2018, everybody would have been okay with it.

The Jersey off your Back giveaway is one of the greatest traditions in all sports.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch got pummeled in shots against and in chances by the Binghampton Devils who came back from behind twice to win the game in a shootout. Callen Foote scored his first professional hockey goal on his first shot in his first game! [Syracuse]

The loss moves the Crunch to 43-2-3-5 on the season and 7-1-0-1 in the 10-game series against the Devils. Eddie Pasquale stopped 36-of-39 shots and 2-of-5 shootout attempts between the pipes for the Crunch. Eddie Lack turned aside 18-of-21 and 3-of-5 skaters in the shootout to earn the win for the Devils. Syracuse went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Binghamton went 2-for-6.

We got some power plays and some POWER plays going on in this edition of the Locker Room Karaoke Battle.

The story of Howard Dolgon, Honey and Ruby, and the Pucks for Paws night for the Syracuse Crunch. [Syracuse]

When Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon needed a pair of models for his team’s Pucks for Paws game jerseys, he didn’t have to look far. Dolgon loves dogs and owns two Golden Doodles, Honey, 3, and Rubie, 13. They were natural candidates for modeling roles, although to hear Dolgon tell it, they still drove a hard bargain before giving their approval.

Playoff dates are set for game one and game two of the Crunch’s first-round series with either the Rochester Americans or the Utica Comets. [Syracuse]

The Game

Last night, a hockey team from Saskatchewan, the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL (Sashatchewan Junior Hockey League), had their bus crash into a semi while travelling to game five of their playoff round. 14 people are dead and another 14 are currently in the hospital.

[CTV News]

[The Star Pheonix]

[Zach Laing]

The whole hockey world is sending our love to the players, staff, family, friends, neighbours, everyone affected. Hockey is a family and you are not alone.