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Cooper Not the Bearer of Boucher's Sins

You saw it coming.

Nine of 10 Magic 8-Balls agreed all signs pointed to Guy Boucher being out as Lightning coach in the immediate or near future.

When the biggest positive for a struggling team out of a two-game trip to Ontario is “the team responds well to 4-0 deficits,” there’s a problem. Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman knew it and was obviously tired of it.

And it started well in advance of Saturday’s debacle to an undermanned Ottawa team; a game for which Boucher’s staff had two days to prepare.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted there was a “culture” problem in Tampa, which is damning to any coach in any league.

Combine the two and it was a near no-brainer.

Yzerman Relieves Boucher of Duties

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have released Guy Boucher from his head coaching commitment, effective immediately, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this morning.

Yzerman also announced that Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix will share coaching responsibilities for the game tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

ECHL Game Night: 3-23-13

Florida Everblades 5 vs. Cincinnati Cyclones 1

W Alex Hutchings, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 40 GP, 14-20-34, E, 30 PIM

D Charles Landry, FLA: 0-1-1, +3, 0 SOG, 0 PIM
Season totals: 46 GP, 4-12-16, +4, 27 PIM

F Maxime Langelier-Parent, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, -3, 5 PIM
(Syracuse Crunch contract)

D Daniel Milan, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 42 GP, 2-6-8, +5, 56 PIM

D Pat Nagle, FLA: Did not play
Season totals: 31 GP, 14-9-3, 3.02 GAA, 787 S / 882 SA (.904 SV%)

Florida, which entered the second period trailing 1-0 after Cincinnati notched a power play late in the initial frame, rallied with back-to-back shorthanded goals by Rocco Carzo and tacked on three more goals to clinch a playoff spot and move back into second-place in the South Division. The Everblades hold a one-point lead over Greenville and South Carolina with games in hand on both. After getting shelled the night before, Jesse Deckert returned to previous form, earning his fifth win in seven appearances by stopping 23 of 24 Cyclones shots. Charles Landry, who had the primary helper Florida's first goal, was again the Lightning's lone prospect in the lineup with Dan Milan inactive and both Alex Hutchings and Pat Nagle up with AHL Syracuse. Florida (35-22-11, 81 PTS) will now close out its regular season with four-game, home-and-home series Orlando (27-33-7, 61 PTS) beginning Tuesday in Orlando.

Official Recap | Box Score

Crunch Regain League-Lead with 3-1 Win Over Devils

By Jeremy Houghtaling

One night after being shutout, the Syracuse Crunch were glad to be right back on the ice.

The Crunch jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, added another in the second, and held on for a 3-1 win over the Albany Devils at the Onondaga County War Memorial Saturday night.

With the win, Syracuse paces the league with 86 points, two ahead of Binghamton for the Eastern Conference lead and one ahead of Texas in the Western Conference.

"We weren't going to let what happened last night happen tonight," said Syracuse forward Dan Sexton. "That's what makes good teams good -- they respond and they don't lose two in a row."

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