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Between the birth of his first child in Tampa Bay and Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Boston [url=www.ramsauthorizedshops.com]www.ramsauthorizedshops.com[/url] , Yanni Gourde squeezed in what could be his last nap for a while.

The Lightning forward spent the night with his wife and newborn daughter in the hospital on the off-day and flew to Boston on Wednesday. He missed the morning skate, but was waiting for his teammates at lunch.

He received quite a greeting.

”It was like we scored a game-winning goal,” coach Jon Cooper said after Ondrej Palat scored twice and Gourde assisted on Tampa Bay’s third goal in a 4-1 victory over Boston that gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead in the series.

”It’s a team that cares,” Cooper said. ”We were so happy for him.”

Palat scored twice in the first 3:19 of the game, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots to help Tampa Bay to its second win in a row since losing the series opener at home.

Game 4 is Friday night.

”Boston came in and took one of our games at home, we had to take one of theirs on the road,” Cooper said. ”We did that.”

After Patrice Bergeron made it a one-goal game, Anthony Cirelli scored his first career NHL playoff goal to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead late in the first. Gourde provided an assist, chasing the puck into the zone before finding Cirelli in the slot.

”The last 24 hours have been amazing,” Gourde said. ”Obviously [url=www.newyorkyankeesteamshop.com]Miguel Andujar New York Yankees Jersey[/url] , I wanted to be there for my wife and, I think, it ended up it was perfect.”

Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for Boston.

”Playoffs are desperate hockey,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. ”You don’t ever go into any games saying `Oh, we have the luxury of being able to lose this one.’ That’s not how it goes.”

Palat scored just 1:47 in after Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk settled the puck with his glove in his own end, then appeared to lose track of it and skated away, leaving the Lightning with an easy 2-on-1 opportunity.

Palat made it 2-0 just 92 seconds later on a shot that deflected off Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and into the net.

”It’s not good, obviously, but we’ve come back a lot,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy [url=www.authenticsoaklandraiders.com]Martavis Bryant Color Rush Jersey[/url] , whose team has won 21 games this season in which it gave up the first goal.

”So this is nothing new,” he said ”You’ve still got 50-some minutes left. There’s going to be a lull from the crowd, but you’ve got to get it back. … The second and third goals, to me, are much worse.”

It stayed 3-1 through the second period and most of the third, until the Lightning picked up a power play in the final two minutes of the game when Krug tripped Cirelli as he chased after the puck with an empty net in front of him.

The Lightning made it 4-1 anyway when Steven Stamkos found the empty net on the power play with 42 seconds left.

NOTES: Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was the honorary fan banner captain, waving a Bruins flag before the game. He was also showed several times on the scoreboard trying to get the fans fired up. … Brad Marchand picked up a second-period slashing penalty and had to be forcibly steered to the penalty box by a linesman while he argued the call. … The Lightning won for just the 10th time in 54 visits to TD Garden. Tampa Bay is 13-9 all-time in Game 3s and 7-5 in Game 3s on the road.



More NHL hockey: Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown had an A-list comparison for 1-B first-round pick Zhaire Smith: Disgruntled San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard.

”I think that when you look at just where I believe Zhaire can be, there are some common denominators that Kawhi had when we first brought him to San Antonio,” Brown said.

High praise for the Texas Tech guard.

But why settle for a rookie who may never develop into a franchise player when the Sixers can try and aquire the real deal?

The 76ers are open for business this summer and an organization that has long preached patience is now in the market for marquee talent to team with blossoming stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

”We are star hunting or star developing,” Brown said Friday. ”You’re not going to win a championship any other way.”

Brown hit on the ”star hunter” phrase at Thursday’s draft and again when he introduced Smith [url=www.cincinnatibengalsshop.com]Cordy Glenn Color Rush Jersey[/url] , acquired from Phoenix in a swap of first-rounders, and Wichita State guard Landry Shamet at the team’s New Jersey headquarters.

Brown had called Smith the team’s 1-B choice in the draft after they traded their 1-A pick, Villanova forward Mikal Bridges, to the Suns in a trade that also saw the Sixers net an unprotected first-rounder in 2021.

Sure, the Sixers could keep that pick until `21 when draft rules are expected to change in time for high school graduates to again be eligible. But the real perk of the pick is the ability to dangle it as trade bait as the Sixers hunt in the rarefied air of NBA stars.

”It’s a tiny number of players,” Brown said. ”As we figure out who we deem to be stars, we understand that’s going to be a challenge. We also understand we don’t have to solve all this now.”

Meaning, the 2019 free-agent crop sure looks good, too.

Brown is calling the shots in the front office as the Sixers look for a new general manager in the wake of Bryan Colangelo’s resignation. Brown made the final decisions on draft night and – though he said he has no desire to balance dual roles – he’ll be the face of the franchise with plenty to offer in talent; success (52 wins; playoff series win); a first-class training facility; and at least $26 million in salary cap space.

The Sixers are also dealing with a wild card in Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft whose rookie season was slowed by shoulder and mental issues that resulted in a broken shot and no playing time in Philadelphia’s last seven playoff games.

Fultz has been working with noted skills coach Drew Hanlen on rebuilding his mechanics. Fultz will likely skip summer league as he works on his jumper and tries to join Embiid and Simmons to form a trio of homegrown talent capable of making the Sixers contenders in the East. There’s always a chance Fultz could be packaged with a pick to try and pry Leonard from the Spurs.

Brown was an assistant with the Spurs and has a solid relationship with Leonard. Leonard [url=www.authenticsminnesotavikings.com]Mike Remmers Color Rush Jersey[/url] , the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and two-time NBA defensive player of the year, has requested a trade from San Antonio after missing most of last season with a right quadriceps injury. Spurs GM R.C. Buford said there was a fractured relationship between Leonard and the only franchise he has played for.

Leonard is due just over $20 million next season, and can become a free agent in the summer of 2019. He is eligible to sign a $220 million extension with San Antonio.

If the Sixers strike this summer, they’d have to be confident Leonard would be willing to re-sign with them instead of walking away with nothing to show for the gamble.

The Sixers have their own free agents to deal with, and they’d love to have 3-point ace JJ Redick return, perhaps on another one-year deal. Wayne Ellington and Tyreke Evans, both Philly-area natives, are unrestricted free agents that would fit in a happy homecoming. And, of course, Paul George and LeBron James are on just about every team’s wish list this summer.

The Cavs can offer James a five-year [url=www.chargersauthorizedshops.com]www.chargersauthorizedshops.com[/url] , $209 million deal this summer. It’s possible James could choose to sign a one-year deal again with a player option and go through the free-agency dance again next summer.

The Sixers will get to make a pitch after letting others do it for them.

At Barclays Center, the NBA draft site, a plane flying above the arena carried three banners. One had LeBron James’ No. 23 with a crown and the Liberty Bell; another urges him to ”Strive for GOATNESS”; and the last reads (hash)PHILLYWANTSLEBRON.

Power Home Remodeling, a Philadelphia-based company, has become a James recruiter, originally setting up three billboards in Cleveland urging him to come to the city. The company also flew Thursday’s billboards in Brooklyn.
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”We’ll be aggressive and attractive in the free-agent marketplace,” Brown said.

But will it be enough?



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