Quick Strikes: Yanni Gourde gets his first career two-goal game

The Bolts defeat the Habs, Kucherov hits another milestone, Taormina gets top AHL honors, and highlights from the prospects.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 to keep their playoff hopes alive. “Yanni Gourde’s two goals were of this dangerous, skilled variety. Whenever the season has been on the line, Gourde has been clutch -- especially in March, where he had several game-winning goals.” [Raw Charge]

Nikita Kucherov is really good at hockey and he has 40 goals this year to prove it. “He’s had two hat tricks this season and seven other multi-goal games. As noted, 17 of his goals have come on the power play (which leads the league). Six of his goals are game winners.” [Raw Charge]

“Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, starting back-to-back games for the first time in three months, stepped up with 26 saves. His best was an unreal backward split save on a wraparound by Montreal's Philip Danualt midway through the first period, keeping it a scoreless game. ‘Sometimes you have to do some desperate stuff,’ Vasilevskiy said. ‘And I did it, and I got lucky.’” [Tampa Bay Times]

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch lost 4-3 to the Binghamton Senators in overtime. Despite losing numerous players to Tampa, the Crunch have 82 points and remain in second place in the North Division of the American Hockey League.

“The American Hockey League announced today that Matt Taormina of the Syracuse Crunch is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2016-17 season. The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.” [AHL]

2016 first-round pick Brett Howden made his professional hockey debut last night with the Syracuse Crunch. "We play Howdy because we think he can help. So we'll see how it plays out,'' [Crunch head coach Benoit] Groulx said. "And obviously, there's opportunity here with the guys up. When you lose a game 3-0 (at Albany on Wednesday), obviously we need offense. I think it's good timing.'' [Syracuse.com]

Taylor Raddysh (#17 in yellow) netted a goal and two assists while Anthony Cirelli (#22) and Erik Cernak (#14) each picked up an assist to help the Erie Otters defeated Mitchell Stephens (#67 in white) and the London Knights 5-1. The series is tied at 1-1. Taylor Raddysh was named the second star of the game.

Taylor’s brother Darren Raddysh (an undrafted, unsigned defenseman - hint hint, Mr. Yzerman) scored a hat-trick.

Boris Katchouk (#12 in red) picked up an assist as his Sault St. Marie Greyhounds defeated the Owen Sound Attack 4-1. The Greyhounds lead the series 2-0.

Mathieu Joseph (#21 in blue) picked up an assist as his Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Val-d'Or Foreurs 2-1 in overtime. Bokondji Imama (#51) was held off the scoresheet. The Sea Dogs lead the series 1-0.

The Game

“Hilary Knight scored 10 minutes 17 seconds into overtime to give the United States a 3-2 victory over Canada in the women’s hockey world championship final Friday night. The Americans won their fourth straight title and eighth in the last 10 tries.” [New York Times]

"The IPC World Championships are taking place in Gangneung, South Korea next week, and Chowder will be providing regular updates as the cream of sled hockey battles it out." [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

“The mysterious injury that put Kyle Okposo in the Neurological ICU at Buffalo General Hospital has had his teammates and fans worried for Okposo’s health. Today, everyone got some good news: Okposo was released from the hospital, and reports are that his condition is improving.” [Die By the Blade]

“Denver senior defenseman Will Butcher was named the 2017 recipient of the Hobey Baker Award, becoming the first defenseman to take home the award since Boston University’s Matt Gilroy won the award in 2009.” [SB Nation College Hockey]