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Game 7

Key players must improve if the Lightning is to upset Penguins

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If the series is tied, then why in the world do the Tampa Bay Lightning seem so far behind? Technically, the Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins are knotted at three games, with one walk across the tightrope left to determine who goes to the Stanley Cup Final. But considering the team’s lethargic performance in a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh, it feels worse. During the series, the Penguins at their best have been better than the Lightning at their best. Pittsburgh is…

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Bolts’ Jon Cooper expects Game 7 to be close

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And so you ask Jon Cooper about Game Seven, and he tells you this: He just got here himself. When it comes to the ultimate game, Cooper isn’t exactly a grizzled veteran. Tonight will be only the second time he’s coached a Game Seven. He wasn’t here when Gordie Howe broke into the league, OK? “My experience in Game 7s in the NHL has been one, and that was Detroit,” said Cooper, the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, after…

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Lightning players say MSG doesn’t intimidate them

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The building has teeth. It is old, and it is rusty, and you cannot help but think about the great players who have walked the corridors. It is big, and it is ancient, and its fans may have rabies. It is legendary, and it is intimidating, and it is oppressive. To an outsider, Madison Square Garden can be an arena where dreams die. Seven times, it has been host to a Game Seven, and each time, the New York Rangers…

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