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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 players probably wonder what might have been

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Right about now, members of the Tampa Bay Lighting are probably kicking themselves. They are talking to themselves, and sighing, and rolling their eyes over the opportunity they let slip away. The Lightning, who were up 3-2 on the Pittsburgh Penguins, lost back-to-back games to get eliminated. Members of the team have probably reminded each other a few times of that in recent days as the Penguins have built a 3-1 lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup…

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Lightning loses to Penguins for Eastern Conference Title

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Turn out the lights. Lock the rink. Gather the sticks. It is over. The Tampa Bay Lightning has lost. The Lightning closed out their 2015-16 season Thursday night, losing a 2-1 game to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bolts led the series three games to two and were at home, but they lost back-to-back games to Pittsburgh to end their season. “Everybody who plays in this league and coaches in this league knows how hard it is…

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Key players must improve if the Lightning is to upset Penguins

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If the series is tied, then why in the world do the Tampa Bay Lightning seem so far behind? Technically, the Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins are knotted at three games, with one walk across the tightrope left to determine who goes to the Stanley Cup Final. But considering the team’s lethargic performance in a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh, it feels worse. During the series, the Penguins at their best have been better than the Lightning at their best. Pittsburgh is…

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Lightning has a good history in playing in NHL Game Sevens

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Game Seven is hockey’s answer to a loser-leave town match. Game Seven is a walk across the tightrope juggling chainsaws. Game Seven is the final scene in Star Wars, with one shot to blow up the Death Star. And here come the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing Game Seven Thursday night for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. Think of it like Final Jeopardy, only the answers are in a foreign language. Does the…

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Lightning lets one opportunity pass, waits for another one vs. Penguins

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The opportunity was gone. The chance had slipped through their fingers. The game had been blown. And now, the players of the Tampa Bay Lightning, were already talking about their next turn. The Lightning, with an opportunity to get to its second consecutive Stanley Cup Final, were badly outskated by the Pittsburgh Penguins for most of Tuesday night’s game. The Lightning lost, 5-2, to force Game Seven on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. “We have one game to get to the…

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Lightning look to close out Penguins and advance to Finals

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For the Lightning, it’s about Game Six. For the Lightning, it’s always been about Game Six. Throughout the history of the franchise, a lot of series seem to wind up at Game Six, which has been the home to triumphs and heartache for the Lightning. Game Sixes have been about overtime, and about Marty St. Louis, and about Ben Bishop. And now, here we go again. The Tampa Bay Lightning has a chance to advance to their second straight Stanley…

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