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Anton Stralman

Lightning, Panthers set to kick off NHL season on Friday

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It all begins for real tonight at Amalie Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2017-18 season against the Florida Panthers, the first of four meetings between the two teams. For the Lightning, they seek a return to the playoffs after missing the post season by a single point last year. If they can avoid significant injuries to key players, always a big “if,” they have every reason to expect to be playing hockey well into the spring.

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Lightning well represented in World Cup of Hockey

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For some reason, it’s difficult to get excited about the World Baseball Classic. It occurs every two years during spring training when major league players are far from performing at their peak. The World Cup of Hockey, which begins Saturday, also takes place during training camp. It is there the similarities end. The very nature of athletic competition in a contact sport like hockey versus a non-contact sport like baseball almost guarantees a better product. This will not look like…

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Lightning blows 2-goal lead, but clinches playoff spot

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It doesn’t matter that they backed into playoffs. The way things are going for the Tampa Bay Lightning, they’re happy to be there at all. Tampa Bay blew a two-goal lead and lost to the New York Rangers Tuesday night, but clinched a post-season berth when the Boston Bruins lost to the Carolina Panthers in a shootout. The Bolts took a 2-0 lead on goals by Vlad Namestnikov and Brian Boyle. But the Rangers charged back to beat a depleted…

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Panthers take first place from Lightning in Atlantic Division

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First place slipped away from the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. The Lightning, ahead by percentage points coming into the game, lost the most important game of its rivalry with the Florida Panthers Saturday night. Playing on its second consecutive night, and its first game without defenseman Anton Stralman, the Lightning lost 5-2 to the Panthers. Tampa Bay scored first but gave up four straight goals to lose. Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos scored for the Bolts, both on the…

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Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup; the Lightning did not lose it

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On Thursday, Chicago will have a parade to honor their Stanley Cup champions. Friday would have been a good day to do that in Tampa, but the Blackhawks ruined that plan. Both teams have already cleaned out their home lockers or are in the process of doing so. The Blackhawks, of course, are enjoying their task a bit more than Lightning players. What happened over the past two weeks and what happens over the next few months? Gary Shelton addressed…

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