BOSTON — Life goes on. Even during the playoffs. Sometimes especially during the playoffs.
Case in point: F Yanni Gourde became the second Lightning player to become a father during these playoffs. He and wife Marie-Andree welcomed a girl, Emma Kate, on Tuesday. He was in the lineup for the Lightning's 4-1 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal with the Bruins on Wednesday. Earlier in the playoffs, F J.T. Miller and his wife celebrated the birth of a daughter. Impeccable timing for both that neither child arrived on a game day.
"It's amazing that playoff babies (are) on off days,'' said coach Jon Cooper.
Cooper would know. When he was coaching junior hockey, he and his wife had a child during the playoffs and it happened on an off day. It goes to show the balance players must have, even as they're playing the most intense hockey of their lives.
"The only word I can say is perspective,'' Cooper said. "We play a game for a living, and it's competitive. … But nothing matches the birth of your children. It's great when you can do both. We're thankful for that. But … it just puts everything in perspective.''
It takes perspective and something even more important: the ones who are doing all the work.
"You give all the credit in the world to the (wives),'' said D Braydon Coburn, who has two children. "Those girls put up with a lot with us. All the stuff they're going through, for us to usually be as selfish as we are this time of year, they're definitely our backbone.''
Number of the day
Consecutive sellouts — regular season and playoffs — for the Bruins at TD Garden, hockey capacity 17,565. The last time the Bruins did not sell out a game was Dec. 2, 2009, when they had a crowd of 16,553. Their opponent? The Lightning. The Bruins won that game 4-1.
What a day
Speaking of Gourde, it's a wonder the guy was upright Wednesday. He barely had time to sleep on the plane after flying to Boston following the birth of his daughter. "It has been amazing,'' he said. "It was an awesome experience, and I'm so glad I was able to be there with my wife. … The last 24 hours have just been really amazing.''
Long time running
Most NHL shifts last 40 or so seconds. Anything over a minute is pushing it. Well, check this out: At the start of the second period, Lightning D Victor Hedman was unable to get off the ice for an incredible 4 minutes, 25 seconds. Defensive partner Ryan McDonagh was out there for 3:55.
According to Cooper, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos shouted, "Those guys have been out there for five (expletive) minutes!''
It was funny after the game. Not so funny at the time.
"They're the horses,'' Cooper said. "There's a reason one of them (Hedman) is up for the Norris (Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman) and the other one is going to play a long time in this league. They just find a way.''
This and that
No changes were made to the Lightning lineup. The Bruins made a slight change up front, inserting F Tommy Wingels and scratching F Tim Schaller. … Tampa Bay has 10 wins in 55 all-time games in Boston.
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