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Bolts Report: March 26

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

March 26, 2012

Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier will not be in the lineup Monday night versus the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, but did travel with the team and is expected to play at some point during the three-game road trip.

Lecavalier, as well as Nate Thompson, each skated at the team’s morning skate Monday morning in Philadelphia, although both were wearing the red no-contact jerseys. Like Lecavalier, Thompson is also expected to return to action at some point on the current swing away from home.

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said that net minder Sebastien Caron will get the start on Tuesday night in Boston as the Bolts complete the second half of a back-to-back set.

Caron, who will be making his team debut, was signed by the Lightning out of Europe last week after Dustin Tokarksi was reassigned to Norfolk of the AHL to help the Admirals in their soon-approaching playoff run.

“We said he would get in at some point,” Boucher said. “But we wanted him to get used to being back in the NHL, seeing NHL play, and getting him behind the bench too so he can get a feel.”

Caron, 31, last played in the NHL during the 2006-07 season, appearing in a total of two games while splitting time with the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks and posted a win for each team.

The NHL’s “You Can Play” initiative, founded by Patrick Burke and his father, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, has recruited Steven Stamkos to tape a public service announcement exemplifying the program’s principles, which revolves around “ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”

Stamkos joins Zdeno Chara, Claude Giroux, Jason Pominville, Brian Campbell and Henrik Lundqvist in a litany of other NHL stars who have lent their voices to the cause.

While education and awareness is the main priority of the initiative, with so many big-name hockey players involved in the project, the goal is to give some current homosexual athletes the courage to be more open in what can be a hostile and sometimes homophobic atmosphere.

Bolts head coach Guy Boucher came up with an appropriate nickname for forward Tom Pyatt after Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Islanders in which Pyatt scored his third goal in two games from essentially the same exact spot on the ice.

“He’s Mr. Blue Paint,” Boucher said. “They’re going to have to start calling the area near the net Pyatt Paint.”

Pyatt, who has shattered his previous career-high of two goals with 11 this season, says the secret to his success is crashing the net, getting into the paint, and looking for rebounds.

Standing just 5-foot-11, 187 pounds, Pyatt is not exactly a big body or an intimidating presence, yet that hasn’t deterred the forward from getting into the tough areas and producing for the Lightning.

“That’s the area where I’ve gotten a lot of my goals this year, and yeah I’ve taken a couple of cross checks, but it’s been worth it,” Pyatt said.

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher and assistant coach Martin Raymond were witnesses to seeing their alma mater, McGill University in Montreal, end a 135-year drought on Sunday to win its first Canadian national championship, 4-3, over Western University in the Cavendish Cup Final.

Raymond spent 22 years at McGill, including five as a player and 17 in different capacities as a coach. His last season at the school was in 2008-09, but was responsible for recruiting 13 of the players on this year's championship team. Boucher, on the other hand, played for McGill from 1991-95.

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