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Lightning

Bolts eliminated from playoffs as Maple Leafs rally past Pittsburgh

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The ride has ended. The Tampa Bay Lightning are going home. The Lightning was eliminated from the NHL playoffs Saturday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs came from behind to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-3, in Toronto. For the Lightning to make the post-season, it needed Toronto to lose to both Pittsburgh Saturday and Columbus on Sunday, while the Bolts would have had to beat Buffalo. Instead, the game will be played with no more meaning but to say farewell…

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Lightning’s Steven Stamkos might not play the rest of the year

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The Tampa Bay Lightning had hoped that Steven Stamkos would make a triumphant return to the lineup that would power team team in a late-season push for the playoffs. Evidently, neither will happen. Stamkos said Thursday that it “wasn’t looking good” for a return to the ice before the regular season ends Sunday. “It’s probably not looking that good,” Stamkos told the Tampa Bay Times.  “It’s frustrating from an individual perspective where I want to be out there trying to…

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Nikita Kucherov’s overtime goal leads Lightning to another win

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The Tampa Bay Lightning continues to be contrarians. Following a three-game losing streak that looked as if it was going to finish the team, the Bolts responded with a two-game winning streak on the road that might end up saving them. The Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings Friday night, 2-1 in overtime, to pull within one point of the Bruins and Islanders for the final wild-card spot. The Bruins and Islanders play each other today. The Lightning now has…

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Lightning embarrassed by Arizona with defeat in playoff drive

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Quick question: If a team is going to be embarrassed by the second-worst team in the NHL, what does it say? Other than, for a night, that the Tampa Bay Lightning was among the worst. The Lightning blew every advantage Tuesday night. They were playing the second-worst team in the league, the Arizona Coyotes. They were at home. They held a lead in the third period. They were playing with playoffs in mind. And still, they lost a 5-3 game…

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Lightning’s Steven Stamkos still watching as his knee heals

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The calvary might not be in a hurry to rescue the Tampa Bay Lightning. Although injured center Steven Stamkos took part in a full practice Friday, he still has no timetable for his return. He might not make it back before the end of the regular season, which has 12 games to go. The Lightning continues to exist just beyond the final wild-card berth, “When it’s 100 percent, I’ll be back,” Stamkos said Friday to the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s…

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Injuries mar big victory by Tampa Bay Lightning over Stars

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is learning one of the oldest lessons in hockey. Every time it gets a little bit of a gain, it finds itself in a little more pain. The Bolts took a big victory Thursday night, beating the Minnesota Wild 4-1 at home. The Wild, 32-17-6, has been the best team in the Western Conference, while the Bolts are still struggling to make the playoffs. As big as the win was, however, it came with a sting.…

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Nikita Kucherov’s fancy move gets shootout victory for Lightning

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Nikita Kucherov brought the playground to Buffalo Saturday night. In a shootout against the Sabres, Kucherov, of the Tampa Bay Lightning, swept toward the goal. He shot, then whipped his stick over the puck as it slid past Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner. “He brought the schoolyard to the big stage,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “You better score on that, and he did.” Tyler Johnson scored in regulation, and Brayden Point and Kucherov scored in the shootout for a…

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