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Nikita Kucherov scores hat trick as Lightning beat Ottawa

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Did you see that? Want to see it again? How about one more time? The Tampa Bay Lightning played one of most inspired games of the season Monday night, blasting the second-place (Atlantic Division) Ottawa Senators 5-1. Nikita Kucherov blistered three straight shots in the second period into the net to lead the way. It was the second Hat Trick of his career, with all three goals coming in a row in the second period. His scores were all similar –…

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Lightning’s Steve Yzerman thinks team can still make the playoffs

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Even without the best goaltender in its history, general manager Steve Yzerman thinks the Tampa Bay Lightning can make the playoffs. On the morning after trading Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, Yzerman said the post-season remains a goal. “We’re still trying to make the playoffs,” Yzerman said. “This tandem (goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy and Peter Bukaj) gives us a chance to win every night.” Yzerman said his choice was this trade or to sit tight until the end of…

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Tampa Bay Lightning trades goaltender Ben Bishop to Kings

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The Tampa Bay Lightning traded away the best goaltender in their history Sunday night. Now, the question is whether the team can make the playoffs without him. The Bolts swapped Ben Bishop, who has won 128 regular season games over past three-plus seasons, to the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Peter Budaj, defensive prospect Erik Cernak and two draft picks. It is a trade that will free up salary cap space for the Bolts, but it hurts them in this…

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Triplets reunited as Tampa Bay Lightning continues playing well

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Once again, they were magic. Once again, they were so electric you could almost see sparks on the ice. Nikita Kucherov. Ondrej Palat. Tyler Johnson. The Triplets. Stop them if you can. You remember the Lightning’s Triplets, don’t you? In 2014-15, they were the most amazing line in the National Hockey League. They led the NHL in scoring that year, and given their tender ages, it seemed they would be a success for years to come. Ah, but injuries happened,…

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This time, Lightning rallies after blowing two-goal lead and wins in OT

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Forget that the opponent was in last-place. Forget that the Tampa Bay Lightning blew a two-goal lead for the second straight night. Forget that it took until overtime to complete the task. The Lightning won. What else matters? The Lightning, getting points in its sixth straight game, is starting to show signs of life in the Eastern Conference Wild-card race. Sunday night, Tampa Bay launched 40 shots at Colorado, and came away with a 3-2 overtime victory. The winning goal…

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Tampa Bay Lightning blows two leads in falling to Stars in overtime

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The Tampa Bay Lighting came back from a five-day break Saturday night, but failed to get off to the re-start it wanted. The Lightning let two leads slip away, and it turned into a 4-3 overtime win for the Dallas Stars Saturday night. Tampa Bay had leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the game but couldn’t hold off the Stars, especially Antone Roussel, a grinder who had his first career hat trick. Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman had two goals and…

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Lightning gets a point, but loses to a strong Minnesota team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning needed two points Friday night. They settled for one. The Lightning lost a shootout to the Central Division-leading Minnesota Wild, 2-1. At this point of the playoff race, with 27 games to play, the Lightning can use every point it can get. Tampa Bay is 3-3 in shootouts this year. They are 24-24-7 overall. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy played well for Tampa Bay, saving 37 of 38 shots. The one he didn’t stop was a second period…

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