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Rangers clobber Lightning behind Michael Grabner’s hat trick

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The good start by the Tampa Bay Lightning seems like only a distant memory. The Lightning lost its third consecutive game Sunday night in a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the New York Rangers. After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored four in the second period. Michael Grabner scored the third hat trick of his career in the win. “It’s a test,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “But let’s pump the brakes. It’s game nine. If it was…

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Hooray! Rays end the 2106 season by beating Rangers again

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It ended just fine. It was all those games that came before the end that were the problem. The Tampa Bay Rays closed out their season with a 6-4 extra innings win over the Texas Rangers and a two-game winning streak. But the Rays finished with a 68-94 record, good for the second-worst record in the majors league. It was the worst record Tampa Bay has had since 2007. The Rays, led by manager Kevin Cash, finished ahead of only…

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Rays knocks off powerful Texas as Drew Smiley pitches well

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For the Tampa Bay Rays, the streaks are all good these days. The team won its sixth game in seven outings Sunday. In five of the six games, they’ve scored at least eight runs. In all, they’ve outscored opponents 55-18 in those wins. Not only that, but they’ve now won two in a row against a first-place team. The Rays beat the Texas Rangers again Sunday, 8-4. “Great series, man,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “From the way it started…

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Rays’ Jake Odorizzi dazzles against Rangers in big victory

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Suddenly, it’s a Jake Odorizzi world. Suddenly, the Tampa Bay Rays have a chance when he’s on the mound. In seven starts since the all-star game, Odorizzi has improved his record to 5-0 with an AL-leadng ERA of 1.64. He has improved his record to 8-5. The Rays followed Odorizzi to their fifth win in their last six games Saturday night, an 8-2 blasting of the Texas Rangers. The Rays have outscored their opponents 47-14 during those six games. “Odo…

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Adrian Beltre hits two homers as Rangers beat Tampa Bay

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In the area of things that don’t surprise you, good teams give the Tampa Bay Rays, last in the AL East, fits. Take, for instance, Friday night’s 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. The Rays have an AL-worst record of 31-56. Worse news? The Rays will also play their next 35 games against teams with winning records. Tampa Bay broke up Cole Hamels‘ no-hitter when Corey Dickerson singled with two outs in the sixth (one of two hits he had).…

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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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Tampa Bay loses another home game, this time to Rangers

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The Tampa Bay Lightning still would like to think of itself as one of the elite teams of the NHL. Frankly, it’s getting more difficult. The Lightning fell once again Wednesday night, losing 5-2 to a New York Rangers team that had lost eight in a row on the road. The defeat left Tampa Bay at 18-16-4, in 10th place in the East and three points out of the playoffs. It also lowered the Bolts’ home record to 9-8-2, equalling…

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