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Cooper: Lightning's win against Bruins 'a relief'

by Staff

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper joined NHL Live to look back at a big win Sunday against the Boston Bruins and ahead to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Lightning, 7-1-1 in their past nine games, trail the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens by two points but hold an eight-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for second place and home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Tampa Bay's win Sunday was its first against Boston since March 13, 2012, a stretch of 10 games.

"It was a little bit of a relief," Cooper said. "I think I'm coming up on my two-year anniversary with the team and that was the one team, for me anyway being behind the bench, I've yet to steal a win until [Sunday] night, so it was pretty special."

Less than a minute after captain Steven Stamkos fought Bruins forward Brad Marchand, the Lightning scored two goals 15 seconds apart.

"We've had struggles with Boston in the past because we've been pushed around a little bit," Cooper said. "But this year we had an incident with [Zdeno] Chara and [Cedric] Paquette, and then this one with [Stamkos]. You know how that goes. When you've got somebody that's got 40 goals and not necessarily 40 fights on their card, and they go and stick up for your teammates … I don't think it was any coincidence that we scored a couple of goals right after that happened."

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was named the NHL's Third Star for the week ending March 22 after going 3-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. For the season, Bishop is 36-11-4 with a 2.31 GAA and .916 save percentage.

"Great goalies make coaches look good," Cooper said. "He's been outstanding for us."

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