In preparation for a three-game home-stand starting tonight against the New York Rangers, the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Yanni Gourde from Syracuse of the AHL. It would seem as though this is not an emergency recall due to any injury, and thus will take one of Tampa Bay’s four remaining call ups.
Gourde has spent time with the Lightning earlier this season, getting into two games at the end of 2016. Playing less than 10 minutes in each contest, the 25-year old forward was held pointless. He’s been an excellent scoring threat in the AHL since working his way through the East Coast league and finding a relatively permanent home in the Lightning organization. With 46 points in 55 games, he’s close to the top of the Crunch roster in scoring and has been a big part of their North Division-leading 68 points.
With the Lightning suddenly finding themselves back in the playoff hunt, they needed some insurance in case anyone were to injure themselves in warmup or couldn’t participate for some reason. The team is just three points out of a playoff spot after winning five of their past seven games. The Rangers will be a tough test, but with New York reeling after a beat-down against Montreal, perhaps the Lightning can take advantage of their apparent need to insert toughness into the lineup. If they can keep pace, it’s only a matter of time until they get captain Steven Stamkos back, as he’s expected to re-join practice at some point this week.