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National Hockey League

Bolts relieve Boucher of coaching duties

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have fired head coach Guy Boucher.

Team vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman made the announcement early Sunday morning.

"Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done," Yzerman said in a statement. "But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise."

Yzerman said assistants Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix will share the coaching responsibilities for Sunday's game against the Winnipeg Jets.

A 5-3 loss at Ottawa on Saturday dropped the Lightning's record to 13-17-1. They are fourth in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of a playoff spot.

Tampa Bay experienced instant success in Boucher's first year behind the bench, going 46-25-11 in 2010-11 and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Boston Bruins by a 1-0 score in Game 7.

The Lightning regressed last season and missed the playoffs after compiling a 38-36-8 record.

03/24 07:27:09 ET

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