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BC-HKN--Lightning-Cooper, HKN

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Sports,NHL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is ready to get to work.

The 45-year-old Cooper talked about his plans for the team shortly before the Lightning hosted the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

The Lightning stumbled to a 13-18-1 record under former coach Guy Boucher and entered Tuesday in 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

Despite the record, Cooper says he will come in and work toward earning a playoff berth.

''Until the final buzzer goes in the last game of the season, I'm coming here to make the playoffs," Cooper said. "I probably shouldn't say this out loud but when (Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman) offered me the job I said, 'Are you sure you want to do this? Because if you do this I'm going to try to screw up your draft (spot).'"

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