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Lightning falls again as Dallas makes third-period comeback

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There for a while, the Tampa Bay Lightning had designs on first place in the Atlantic Division.

These days, it just wants to stop the slide.

The Lightning lost their fifth game in six tries Thursday night, losing to the Dallas Stars,  4-3.

The Lightning had taken a 3-2 lead in the second period on a pair of goals by Steven Stamkos, but once again, they could not hold on. The Lightning had the lead three times.

Tampa Bay now trails Florida by four points in the Atlantic.

Jamie Benn, however, scored two goals for Dallas to head the comeback. It was only the second time all season the Lightning has lost when leading after two periods.

The Lightning were outshot 17-4 in the third period.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Especially the way we played for two periods. It’s a little puzzling, to be honest. The guys in the room have to hold themselves accountable. They changed the way they played. We’ve got to be better than that. We’ve got to be better.”

“We have 40 wins, but that’s not going to be enough. We’ve got to win some more games. It almost looked like we played the game to lose instead of to win.”

Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay concludes its current road trip against Phoenix Saturday.

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 garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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