TAMPA — Lightning C Brian Boyle said nothing prepared him for what he witnessed Tuesday: the birth of his first child, Declan Gabriel.
"I've never been that scared and happy at the same time," Boyle said Wednesday.
It was a whirlwind for Boyle, 30, who flew back from New York after Monday night's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final to be there for wife Lauren's 11 a.m. C-section. Mom and baby are doing well, he said.
"When we first heard (Declan), it was pretty emotional," Boyle said. "When I first saw him, I was petrified, I guess, (that) I was in charge of this human. It was just joy, holding him, being around him. When he sneezed, it was the cutest thing I've ever seen."
The couple married in July, after Boyle and the Rangers' run to the Stanley Cup final. Boyle signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay on July 1. Lauren has had to handle planning a wedding and a third trimester of pregnancy during the playoffs. "She's a trooper," Boyle said.
Boyle said he was feeling a little better, too, having returned to the lineup Monday against the Rangers after missing Saturday's Game 1 with an undisclosed injury. Boyle said it was a lingering injury and he had hoped it could get better but realized it needed more time. It was the first game Boyle missed since April 2012.
"If I could have played, I would have played," said Boyle, who also played in Wednesday's Game 3. "It was a little frustrating and disappointing, but it's all good."
johnny b. good: C Tyler Johnson followed up Monday's hat trick by scoring a new way in Game 3 — during a four-on-four midway through the second period. He took a pass from LW Ondrej Palat and put the puck past G Henrik Lundqvist. That gave Johnson 12 goals this postseason, tied for the most during one playoffs in franchise history. Ruslan Fedotenko and Brad Richards each scored that many during the 2004 Cup run. Johnson also had an assist on Palat's second-period goal in the Lightning's 6-5 overtime win, giving him 18 postseason points, two more than the Ducks' Corey Perry.
ON THE RIGHT: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has played center his entire life but has found success since getting moved to right wing during the East semifinals against Montreal. He had a goal and an assist Wednesday, giving him four goals in his past five games and points in seven of his past eight. Coach Jon Cooper said he likes Stamkos at both spots but believed the move would free him up and help him use less energy in the defensive zone.
LINING UP: The Lightning went with seven defensemen for the second straight game, with D Nikita Nesterov in. And it was probably glad it did. Matt Carle suffered an undisclosed injury in the first and did not return. He played 1:36 before skating to the bench midway through the first after a hard hit in the neutral zone. … Forwards Jonathan Drouin, Jonathan Marchessault and Vladislav Namestnikov, and D Mark Barberio were scratched.
ICE CHIPS: Former Lightning captain and current Ranger Marty St. Louis was booed whenever he touched the puck. … Sickles High product and Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson was in attendance as was LPGA star Michelle Wie.