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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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Rowdies take impressive win over MLS’s Montreal in exhibition

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If you want to join them, well, first you beat them. The Tampa Bay Rowdies, who have announced their plans to pursue admission into the MLS, took a symbolic step toward their goal Saturday night when they beat the Montreal Impact. The Impact was the Eastern Conference runners-up last season. However, the Rowdies dominated play most of the evening, taking a 2-0 lead en route to their victory. Joe Cole and Deshorn Brown, a training guest, scored the goals within…

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Lightning star Tyler Johnson scores back-to-back goals to lead win

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One game after losing to one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat one of the best. The Lightning, still struggling in its effort to make the playoffs, came from behind to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 Tuesday night. Coming one game after losing to Arizona, it was a needed win. “This is desperation mode for us,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “This was a winnable hockey game. A lot of good things…

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Blaise Ingoglia wins re-election as chair of Florida GOP

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Incumbent Republican Party of Florida chair Blaise Ingoglia swept to victory Saturday morning at the annual elections with a 152 to 76 vote over challenger Christian Ziegler. Ingoglia, in a speech touting his virtues, called attention to his own free-market and grassroots leanings, saying there was really only one way to win — through having feet on the ground and getting out and doing the work. “It’s sitting at home and saying goodbye to your wife and your children, driving to…

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Bucs stop two-point conversion to end with winning record

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With 17 seconds to play, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense came up with one final stop on their season, and it meant a winning record. The Bucs stopped a two-point conversion with 17 seconds remaining Sunday after three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olson slipped. Instead, the ball bounded off the facemask of Bradley McDougald, leaving the Bucs 17-16 winners. Tampa Bay finished at 9-7, their first winning season since 2010. The Bucs missed the playoffs, however, due to the…

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UCF’s defense steals game with big effort against Tulane

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The defense of the UCF Knights wasn’t satisfied with simply keeping Tulane off of the scoreboard. The defense wanted some points of its own. Central Florida scored three times on defense to overtake the Tulane Green Waves in Saturday’s 37-6 victory. Drico Johnson returned a fumble recovery 30 yards for one score and an interception 86 yards. Shaquill Griffin returned an interception 33 yards for a score. Our defense and defensive coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for what…

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Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos validates decision against Toronto

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Yeah, Steven Stamkos made the right choice, all right. Stamkos, who declined to move to his home town of Toronto in the off-season and instead signed a seven-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored twice in his return home Tuesday night. The Lightning ran its record to 5-1 with a 7-3 win over the Maple Leafs. “I’m sure he’s feeling a little better about his contract situation than he was a year ago,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “He’s…

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