Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning prospects shine in playoffs

Budaj might stay with the Bolts next season, everyone loves Kucherov, and the Lightning prospects are scoring in the playoffs

The Lightning

Goalie Peter Budaj is a free agent this summer, but he could be staying with the Tampa Bay Lightning next season. "Budaj said he has made expected on-ice and life adjustments since the trade. But he has been impressed with the Lightning organization, from top to bottom. 'I like it here,'  he said." [Tampa Bay Times]

People outside of Tampa are finally taking note of Nikita Kucherov's impressive season. "He has been one of the most dominant players in the league this season, and has taken his game to an entirely new level in the past month just when the Lightning have needed it most. If they get in [to the playoffs], it’s going to be because of him."[NBC Sports]

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch remain atop the North Division after defeating the Utica Comets 5-1 last night.

Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, and Erik Cernak all scored for the Erie Otters en route to a 9-3 victory over the Sarina Sting. The Otters are up 2-0 in the series.

Boko Imama and Mathieu Joseph picked up goals as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 4-1 in Game 2 of the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. [Saint John Sea Dogs]

UMass-Lowell defeated Cornell 5-0 to advance to the NCAA Regional Final. Freshman forward (and Lightning prospect) Ryan Lohin scored two goals in the victory for the River Hawks. [SB Nation College Hockey]

The Game

Reigning Vezina trophy winner Braden Holtby credits music with helping him evolve his game. "Research has linked strumming a guitar to helping to catch a puck because of the way it trains the same neural pathways -- connecting the eyes, brain and hands -- used to make a glove save." [NHL]

Hilary Knight talks about the USWNT fight for equal pay. “We were in negotiations with [USA Hockey] for 14 or so months...and everything kind of stalled, so we were able to come public with everything that has been going on for seventeen plus years, plus the last months of trying to make change.” [The Ice Garden]

Try not to panic Lightning fans, but the Carolina Hurricanes are seriously surging right now.