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Quick Strikes: Coach Jon Cooper calls Yanni Gourde “a diamond in the rough”

The Bolts

“The Montreal Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in overtime at Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday night.” [Raw Charge]

Yanni Gourde scored his fourth goal of the season last night to tie the game at 1-1 and force overtime. “He’s been a diamond in the rough down the stretch for us,” coach Jon Cooper said. [Tampa Bay Times]

Bryan Burns and Casey Chelios recap the Lightning’s top plays for the month of March.

Nikita Kucherov was named the NHL’s first star for the month of March. “March has been the capstone to a career year for the 23-year-old Russian who has set personal bests in goals (38) assists (42) and power play goals (17). He’s picked up the burden of the offense in Stamkos’ absence and has made taking a penalty against the Lightning a foolish mistake.” [Raw Charge]

Is Steven Stamkos close to returning? “You never know,” Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times. “It could be next game (Sunday against Dallas). It could not even be the rest of the season. I’m not going to go out there until I know I’m confident in what I can do and have no hesitation.” [Tampa Bay Times]

For the first time ever, the Tampa Bay Lightning invited a sled hockey player to be the Thunderkid. It was awesome.

The Prospects

For the second night in a row, the Syracuse Crunch lose in the shootout to the Toronto Marlies.

The Kalamazoo Wings are the Lightning’s ECHL affiliate. Currently two Lightning prospects play for the K-Wings. Forward Cam Darcy (#13 in white) contributed an assist and goalie Nick Riopel (#29) stopped 51 of 55 shots in a 5-3 loss against the Florida Everblades.

Only one Lightning prospect participated in the junior hockey playoffs last night. Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors) was held off the score sheet as his team defeated the Swift Current Broncos 3-2. The series is tied 3-3.

The Game

Another captain and franchise center who wears #91 is out with an injury – John Tavares of the New York Islanders. Isles fans, we know your pain. “For all intents and purposes, the team would have to win out to make the playoffs. Even then, their chances stand at just a hair over 50 percent. That seems nearly insurmountable enough even without their best player. One cannot be faulted for basically calling the season over with Tavares out.” [Lighthouse Hockey]

“A scary scene unfolded in Philadelphia when Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth suddenly collapsed in net with no warning. Early in the first period between the Flyers and Devils, Neuvirth fell on his back after seemingly losing consciousness in the Philadelphia crease.” [SB Nation]

“In the history of women’s International Ice Hockey Federation championship competition, Team Canada had never lost to a team that wasn’t the United States. That changed on Saturday night. Finland joined that exclusive club, as Canada lost its second straight game at worlds, 4-3.” [Puck Daddy]

Your adorable moment of the day, brought to you by Tyson Jost’s grandfather.

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