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Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher supports show of toughness for boarding hit on Steve Downie

PHILADELPHIA — Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he had not seen a replay of the from-behind hit Canadiens C Maxim Lapierre put on Tampa Bay's Steve Downie on Wednesday in Montreal.

But he knows C Nate Thompson retaliated against Lapierre in the midst of what turned into a multiplayer scrum and said that is the kind of got-your-back effort that can define a team.

"I think we all reacted well in the sense that everyone was in it," Boucher said Thursday.

"People ask me if we're going to have a tough guy. We have 23, and that's what we saw. … That's what we're looking for, guys sticking up for each other."

"It's big for a team," Thompson said. "It shows that we are going to stick up for each other no matter what, no matter who it is. If one is in, everybody is in, and that means a lot and shows the team is coming together."

The play happened late in the second period of Tampa Bay's 4-3 overtime victory, when Lapierre cross-checked Downie into the side boards as they chased a puck. Lapierre received a five-minute major boarding penalty.

"I just saw it out of the corner of my eye," Thompson said. "I just decide not to waste any time and just get right in there."

"When you see something like that, it makes you feel everybody has your back," Downie said. "That's what a team is."

MISUNDERSTANDING: LW Simon Gagne said he did not say he wanted to spend only one season with the Lightning and in fact wants a contract extension:

"What I said was I have one year left on my contract. People took that the wrong way and said I'm only going to be here a year. The reality is, I have one year left on my contract, and after that, who knows what's going to happen. But my goal is to try to get an extension with this team and stay more than one year. I didn't come here only to move again my stuff and family to another place."

SMABY IN: D Matt Smaby, on his 26th birthday, played for the first time, as Boucher used seven defensemen and 11 forwards, scratching left wings Dana Tyrell and Mattias Ritola.

Why seven defensemen instead of the usual six?

"It's two games in two nights, and I think (Wednesday) night took a lot of emotion out of us," Boucher said. "Having to come back takes a lot out of any team, and it usually takes the most out of defensemen. Those are the ones who usually hurt the most. And we're going to meet a team that likes to hit a lot, and Smaby has the perfect style to play against them. And he adds that extra defenseman to give some kind of relief to the six other ones in terms of ice time."

Smaby did just that, playing 4:28 on nine shifts.

ODDS AND ENDS: C Steven Stamkos, with four goals, is the first Lightning player to score in the first three games of a season. … After scoring against the Flyers, Pavel Kubina's 66 Lightning goals ties Dan Boyle for most by a Tampa Bay defenseman. … For the second straight game, D Mike Vernace was benched after a misplay. … The Lightning's 84 shots in its first two games beat the team mark of 69 set last season. … Flyers D Matt Walker, whom Tampa Bay traded for Gagne, has not played because of a groin/hip injury. … Tampa Bay D Mattias Ohlund (knee) also was scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher supports show of toughness for boarding hit on Steve Downie 10/14/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 15, 2010 12:16am]
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