Lightning’s Yanni Gourde to play Game 3 hours after birth of child

Watch as Yanni Gourde opens the scoring on the power play to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 1-0 lead over the Boston Bruins in Game 2.

BOSTON – Yanni Gourde may not be fully rested when the Tampa Bay Lightning resume their second-round series at TD Garden. But in this case his boss fully understands.

Gourde’s wife, Marie-Andrée, went in to labour shortly after he scored in a Game 2 win over the Boston Bruins and gave birth to daughter Emma on Tuesday.

It kept the new father from getting to Boston in time for Wednesday’s morning skate, but the Lightning expect Gourde to dress in his usual spot for Game 3.

“I’m sure he hasn’t slept but knowing the competitive nature of that kid – he probably doesn’t sleep anyway, whether he’s had a baby or not,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “He’ll be ready to go tonight.”

Emma Kate Gourde

A post shared by Yanni Gourde (@yannigourde18) on

It continued a mini-baby boom around the Lightning, with J.T. Miller having become a father on April 23. Cooper joked that it’s “remarkable” both births happened on an off-day for the team.

Gourde emerged as an impact player for the Lightning this season, scoring 25 goals and 64 points during his first full year in the NHL. His teammates were expecting to find him on Cloud-9 come puck drop.

“Hopefully he’s going even more,” said captain Steven Stamkos. “Obviously we’re very happy for him and his wife and his family. It’s cool – Millsy just had a kid the other day and now Yanni – hopefully we’ll get a win for the new baby.”

For Cooper, it was a reminder of where the playoffs rank in the grand scheme of things.

“The only word I can say is perspective,” he said. “Let’s be honest: We play a game for a living and it’s competitive and all the clichés you can throw out there, but nothing matches the birth of your children.

“It’s great when you can do both – [witness the birth of a baby and return to play]. We’re thankful for that.”

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