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Tampa Bay Rays extend center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s contract

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Kevin Kiermaier was always one of the most popular Tampa Bay Rays. Now, he’ll be popular with his banker, too. Kiermaker, the Rays’ center fielder, signed a six-year, $53.5 million extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2023. The agreement with Kiermaier marks the fourth time that Stuart Sternberg’s ownership group has guaranteed at least six years in a contract with a Rays player. Right-handed pitcher Chris Archer signed for a guaranteed six years (plus two club options)…

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Lightning lose second straight as Capital’s T.J. Oshie gets a hat trick

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And suddenly, the Tampa Bay Lightning is going in the wrong direction. The Lightning, which entered the week on a hot streak, lost its second straight key matchup Saturday night in a 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. The Caps clinched the playoffs with the victory. Tampa Bay, which has 11 games to play, is certain to finish with its worst record in four years. Saturday night, the Bolts gave up the game’s first two goals and its last three.…

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Rowdies lose final exhibition game to Miami; season opener next week

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It was hardly the way that Tampa Bay Rowdies’ head coach Stuart Campbell wanted his team’s final tuneup to go. The Rowdies lost a 3-0 decision to Miami FC in an exhibition game Saturday, when “two crazy minutes” led to their downfall. Tampa Bay gave up two goals in two minutes, then another seven minutes later, in losing their final game before next week’s season open against Orlando B. “It’s a very flattering score for Miami,” Campbell said. “For 88…

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Lightning clobbered by Toronto in its race toward the NHL playoffs

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Think of the ice at Amalie Arena as a giant windshield. Now think of the Tampa Bay Lightning as a bug. Splat. Got it? The Lightning, playing so well as of late, were clobbered at home in Thursday night’s game, losing 5-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bolts, who had just passed the Leafs in the standings, now are playing chance once again. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said it was his team’s defense, which had been good lately, that…

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Victor Hedman scores in overtime as Lightning wins another

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Just like that, they’re back in it. The torrid Tampa Bay Lightning won again Monday night, beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in overtime to tie – momentarily, at least – the New York Islanders for the last wild-card slot with 77 points. Victor Hedman scored the winning goal for the Bolts, taking a perfect pass from Ondrej Palat and scoring with 55 seconds left in the overtime. Brayden Point had scored the first goal for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevski continued…

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Rookie Brayden Point leads the Lightning as its hot streak continues

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So how did you spend your 21st birthday? Odds are, Brayden Point has you beat. On Monday night, the rookie Point took over Madison Square Garden, scoring two goals to lead the Lightning to a 3-2 victory and brought the team to within one point of the final wild-card spot. Point scored in the first and third periods, bringing his season total to 11 goals. “I know this is cliché, it’s been used a million times, but he’s a hockey…

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Lightning overcomes two-goal deficit to take big win over Florida

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is treating this playoff race like something real. The Lightning won a memorable game against the Florida Panthers Saturday night, coming from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 victory. The Bolts are now 10-2-3 in their last 15 games. After falling behind 2-0, the Bolts came back on a power-play by Nikita Kucherov, a short-handed goal by Yanni Gourde (his first in the NHL) and a tiebreaking goal off a deflection by Ondrej Palat. It was…

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