TAMPA — C Yanni Gourde’s first goal in a calendar month is one he might remember for a long time.
Gourde snapped a 13-game goalless streak in the first period of Friday’s 7-5 win against the Sabres to set the Lightning franchise record for goals in a season by a rookie. His 25th topped the 24 by C Tyler Johnson in 2013-14.
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.
Despite the Lightning’s two-point lead over the Bruins for first in the Atlantic Division heading into tonight’s regular-season finale at Carolina, coach Jon Cooper said he didn’t plan to rest any of his players. Boston plays tonight and Sunday.
Aside from G Andrei Vasilevskiy, who will likely not play the second game of the back-to-back setup tonight, and C Steven Stamkos (lower body), who was listed as day to day, the Lightning was expected to have its regular lineup.
The Lightning is expected to begin the first round of the playoffs Thursday at Amalie Arena, with Game 2 on Saturday. "We’re resting guys for what? The playoffs aren’t going to start until late next week," Cooper said. "There’s a whole bunch of rest (coming up) regardless. Our season ends (today), so you’re looking at potentially five days between games. … It’s more like guys need to play because you don’t want them sitting so long."
Cooper said the Lightning’s "target" was to have Stamkos ready for practices as well as the playoffs’ start.
Son seeks to best Dad
Justin Richards, son of Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards, is a freshman on the Minnesota Duluth team that plays Notre Dame tonight for the NCAA championship in St. Paul, Minn. A forward, Justin has nine assists in 43 games. Todd, 51, was a defenseman in college for Minnesota, which lost the 1989 NCAA title game to Harvard 4-3 in overtime in St. Paul. He was named to the all-tournament team.
25 for 25
To celebrate the team’s 25th anniversary, Lightning fans voted for the top 25 players in team history. The results: Brian Bradley, Roman Hamrlik, Rob Zamuner, Enrico Ciccone, Daren Puppa, John Cullen, Pavel Kubina, Vinny Lecavalier, Fredrik Modin, Nikolai Khabibulin, Brad Richards, Marty St. Louis, Dave Andreychuk, Dan Boyle, Chris Dingman, Vaclav Prospal, Tim Taylor, Ruslan Fedotenko, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Ben Bishop, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Brian Boyle and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Contact Roger Mooney at [email protected] Follow @RogerMooney50.