Lightning-Canadiens: Yanni Gourde facilitates special day for 8-year-old visitor

During the game, Gourde fulfilled a promise he made to 8-year-old Benjamin Roy.
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 29: Thunderkid preforms before the Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena on December 29, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/Tampa Bay Lightning)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 29: Thunderkid preforms before the Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Montreal Canadiens at Amalie Arena on December 29, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/Tampa Bay Lightning)
Published December 30 2018
Updated December 30 2018

TAMPA — Forward Yanni Gourde did not have time to waste time in the locker room after the Lightning's victory over Montreal. He needed to go find Benjamin Roy.

About 12 hours earlier, Gourde was showing Roy, 8, around the room and introducing him to other players. During their time together, Gourde told Roy that he would give him the puck if he scored a goal later against the Canadiens.

That, however, was a big if. Gourde made that promise while in the middle of a 10-game goal-scoring drought.

But he had Roy to play for now.

Roy, a Quebec native who has a brain tumor, wrote Gourde a letter asking to meet him, drawing a picture of him and Gourde on the back. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Quebec, Gourde made good on that letter Saturday when the Lightning faced the Canadiens.

In addition to spending time with Gourde in the morning, Roy had the opportunity to be the "Thunder Kid" for the game. Wearing a Lightning uniform, Roy skated out on the ice to amp up the crowd while AC/DC's Thunderstruck played. He then stood next to Gourde for the anthems.

Forty-two minutes later, Gourde deflected a puck into the Montreal net.

The same puck he later handed Roy, fulfilling his promise.

"It was a special night for me," Gourde said. "It was a special night for him. A special day. It was so much to have him around."

Some odds and ends from the game:

Club 100. While fulfilling a promise, Gourde also reached a personal milestone. The goal was his 100th career NHL point.

Still no goals, but Mikhail Sergachev is contributing offensively. The defenseman set up C Tyler Johnson's goal with a terrific pass in the second period. Sergachev has tallied 13 assists this season.

Welcome back, Anton. D Anton Stralman missed more than a month with an injury, but he has become a solid offensive contributor since his return. He has tallied at least a point in three of the past five games. He scored a goal to tie the game at 2-2 in the first period Saturday.

King Kucherov. F Nikita Kucherov remains atop the NHL with 63 points. He scored his 18th goal of the season in the second period. He extended his scoring streak to 10 games, one game shy of a career long.

A December to remember. The Lightning has not lost in regulation in December, improving to 12-0-1 Saturday. It's a franchise record for wins and points (25) in one month. The Lightning also extended its point streak to 14.

Contact Nick Kelly at nkelly@tampabay.com and follow him @_NickKelly.

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