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Could Steven Stamkos, Anton Stralman return for Lightning?

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Do the Tampa Bay Lightning have reenforcements coming?

As good as the Bolts have been, dismissing two teams in 10 games, they will face their biggest challenge against either Washington or Pittsburgh, both of whom were better in the regular season than they were.

But what if the Bolts get Steven Stamkos back?

And what if they get Anton Stralman back?

For Tampa Bay, there was no need to rush either player against the Islanders. Not when they won four straight. But both Stamkos and Stralman have been seen hanging around the team’s locker room. A return date for either might not be that far off.

The Lightning could use both. Stamkos was once again the Lightning’s leading scorer with 36 goals. Stralman was a steady defensive player. And the loss of both has provided extra minutes for others to have to fill. With them both, the Lightning are deeper, more dangerous.

Who knows? It could be enough to get the Bolts past another round and into their second straight finals.

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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