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Lighting on verge of elimination from playoffs after loss to Bruins

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The Tampa Bay Lightning hasn’t been eliminated yet.

But it may be time to dim the lights.

The Lighting were clobbered 4-0 by Boston Thursday night in a last-chance effort to stay in the NHL wild-card race, and as a result, they are hanging on by their fingernails. Both Ottawa and Toronto could clinch playoff spots with just a bit of success, leaving the Lightning on the outside.

Tampa Bay got only four shots in the first period, and the Bruins scored twice in the second period.

“We weren’t even a threat,” coach Jon Cooper said. “We got beat by a better team.”

“We’re not out of it yet,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “It’s obviously a tough hill to climb, and we need a lot of things to go our way.”

Still, the situation looks dire for Tampa Bay, which plays at Toronto on Thursday.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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