x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning turn to Cooper to turn about fortunes

The 45-year-old will take charge of his first game on Friday after being announced as a replacement for recently fired former coach Guy Boucher.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos considers the scoreboard during their last game against WInnipeg.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos considers the scoreboard during their last game against WInnipeg.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced Jon Cooper as their new head coach, replacing the recently fired Guy Boucher as the man in charge of reversing their struggles.

Cooper is the coach of Tampa Bay's minor league team and will be taking on his first NHL head coaching job.

"There is no other team in hockey that I would rather be coaching than the Tampa Bay Lightning," Cooper said in a statement.

"I look forward to getting to know the players and getting to work right away."

The 45-year-old Cooper is set to be introduced tomorrow, and will coach his first game on Friday against the New Jersey Devils.

His task will be a challenging one as the Lightning (13-18-1) are second to last in the Eastern Conference.

The third-year Boucher was dismissed Sunday after a fast start to the season quickly went downhill.

Meanwhile the Los Angeles Kings ended their scoring drought in style, three times coming from a goal down to beat the NHL-leading Chicago Blackhawks 5-4.

Tyler Toffoli and Dustin Brown scored in the third period to establish the decisive lead, with Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll and Dwight King also tallying for a Kings side who had been goalless in their last two games.

Michael Frolik scored two for the Blackhawks, who slipped to a second straight defeat.

Zach Parise netted twice to help the Minnesota Wild to their sixth straight win with a 7-4 defeat of the Dallas Stars.

Parise also added an assist, with Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen contributing a goal and an assist apiece.

The Nashville Predators got their third straight win thanks to goals from Sergei Kostitsyn, Kevin Klein and Chris Mueller which saw them to a 3-2 defeat of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Phoenix Coyotes by the same score line, while Martin Havlat scored his first goal in 16 games to help the San Jose Sharks see off the Anaheim Ducks 5-3.

The Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators both claimed 3-2 shoot-out wins, over the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils respectively.

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