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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 to their fans.

Pittsburgh led 3-2 in the third period, but Toronto came back. Connor Brown scored the go-ahead for Toronto with his 20th goal with 2:48 to play. Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal with an empty netter.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit [email protected]

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