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MLB players police unwritten rules for acceptable conduct

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Hall of Famer Joe Morgan knows that for more than a century, baseball players have policed themselves. Like it or not. Seven months after Jose Bautista‘s famous bat flip against Texas in the AL playoffs, he got hit by the Rangers and responded with a hard takeout slide that led to a brawl Sunday. “If you were willing to show the other team up and to do that, then you’ve got to be willing to take what goes with it,”…

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Resilient Lightning find a way to beat Pittsburgh without Ben Bishop

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By now, would you really expect another injury, even to an important player, to slow them down? The resilient Tampa Bay Lightning, already without Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman, lost goaltender Ben Bishop with 7:35 left in the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bishop was taken from the ice in a stretcher. Early X-rays showed there was no structural damage. “I think a lot of that comes from last year and the confidence we have in this group coming…

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Lightning to face Penguins in Eastern Conference Final series

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The Tampa Bay Lightning got their dance partner Tuesday night. The Lightning will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. Pittsburgh closed out the Washington Capitals in Game Six with a 4-3 overtime win. To a lot of people, the Penguins are probably the favorites in the series. They have home ice after totalling 104 points. The Lightning had 97. But Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh in all three of their meetings this year. The Bolts won 4-0, 6-1 and 5-2.…

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Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop leads Lightning to Eastern Conference finals

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He is in charge of turning off the lights. He is in charge of hammering in the final nail in the coffin, in charge of stepping on the necks, in charge of slamming the door. He is Ben Bishop, and what he does is end things. Bishop, the goaltender for the Tampa Bay Lightning, did it again Sunday. Once again, the Lightning had a chance to send an opponent home, and once again, he provided the directions. Bishop stopped all 28…

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Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin can change his story against Wings

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The wackiest story ever told is halfway done. All Jonathan Drouin has to do from here is be a star. For Drouin, who skates into the NHL playoffs Wednesday night with his Tampa Bay Lightning against the Detroit Red Wings, it has been a vexing season. He was idle. He was demoted. He was ticked. He left his team. He was suspended. His agents made threats. He was on the trading block, but not enough teams showed enough interest. He…

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Center Tyler Johnson injured as Tampa Bay loses final game to Montreal

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Repeat it to yourself: It just didn’t matter. The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Saturday night to Montreal, 5-2, for the third time in its last four games, and it’s fifth time in its last eight, to conclude its regular season. Tampa Bay now proceeds to play Detroit in the playoffs. The Lightning absorbed more than defeat, however. Center Tyler Johnson was driven into the boards by Greg Pateryn, which left Jon Cooper livid. “There’s honor and there’s respect, and that…

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Lightning beats Islanders, but loses defender Anton Stralman

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All of the offense in the world mattered just a bit to the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night. Instead, it was the loss of defenseman Anton Stralman that weighed heavily on the Bolts. Stralman, who pairs with Victor Hedman on the team’s top defensive line, broke the fibula in his left leg in a 7-4 victory over the New York Islanders. The injury will certainly cost Stralman the rest of the regular season. The team hopes he can return for…

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