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Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Erik Erlendsson

Tribune Staff

Bolts bounce back, thrash Detroit 5-1 to even up series

- Tampa Bay evened up the Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series with Detroit with a commanding 5-1 victory in Game 2. The series continues Tuesday in Detroit.

Lightning will need better effort in front of net today

- Today’s Game 2 playoff matchup between the Lightning and Red Wings could hinge on which team establishes ownership over a piece of prime property. The puck drops at 3 p.m. at Amalie Arena (TV: NBC).

Down 0-1, Bolts still upbeat going into Game 2 today

- Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper says the Lightning will "swing for the fences" against the Red Wings to avoid a home sweep. The puck drops at 3 p.m. and NBC (Ch. 8) will televise.

Lightning fall in early hole, drop Game 1 to Red Wings

- Tampa Bay dominated Detroit in possession and shots, but lost out in the category that matters the most - on the scoreboard. The Wings took the opener, 3-2, with Game 2 on Saturday at Amalie Arena.

Bolts notes: Only Garrison remains sidelined

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— The Lightning enter the postseason with a relatively healthy lineup, perhaps for the first time all season.

Strong Lightning lineup poised to go deep in playoffs

- Against Tampa Bay, coaches must pick their poison in putting together a game plan. It's impossible to focus on one scoring line, because the Lightning have two top scoring lines, and scorers on every line.

Bolts vs. Red Wings -- Who has the edge?

- Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson breaks down the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between Tampa Bay and Detroit:

Bolts notes: Injured Coburn ‘really close’ to return

- After missing more than a month with a lower body injury, Tampa Bay D Braydon Coburn looks set to get back in the lineup when the Lightning opening the first round of the playoffs at home against Detroit.

Lightning better prepared for playoffs this time around

- Last season's experience was brief but beneficial for a young Lightning squad preparing for its Stanley Cup series against Detroit.

Bolts Notes: Bowness treated to day at Masters

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— With four days off before the start of the playoffs, Lightning associate head coach Rick Bowness was treated to a special day on Sund...

Bolts Notes: Bowness treated to day at Masters

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— With four days off before the start of the playoffs, Lightning associate head coach Rick Bowness was treated to a special day on Sund...

Lightning primed to seize opportunity

- After posting 50 wins, the Lightning are confident they can make a deep playoff run starting Thursday against the Red Wings at Amalie Arena.

Lightning playoffs open Thursday at home vs. Detroit

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TAMPA – The Lightning will open play in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday, hosting Detroit in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

Bolts top Boston to end season, will face Detroit as playoffs start

- The Lightning ended the regular season with a 3-2 victory shootout victory, ending the season with a franchise record 108 points and 50 victories. When the playoffs begin next week Tampa Bay will start at home against Detro...

Bolts win tonight would end Bruins season

- One final game remains. The playoffs sit just on the horizon for the Lightning.

Bolts tie franchise points record in OT win over Devils

- With the victory over New Jersey, Tampa Bay matched a franchise record with 106 points, tying the record established by the 2003-04 Stanley Cup championship team with one game remaining.

Bolts notes: Hedman returns, others closing in

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— The Tampa Bay Lightning were swimming in a sea of red Thursday, and that’s a good sign.

One unfinished goal in play for Bolts: division crown

- With two games left in the regular season, Tampa Bay wants to close out things on a high note and carry momentum into the playoffs. But there is also the idea of hanging another banner in the rafters with the opportunity to...

Bolts welcome break as chance to get healthy

- The first step toward a healthy playoff roster occurred when the first player skated onto the ice Tuesday at the Ice Sports Forum. Just five minutes before practice, defenseman Victor Hedman emerged from the locker room to ...

Stamkos heating up for Lightning as postseason approaches

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— For a great goal scorer like Steven Stamkos, going seven games without a goal can feel like a season-long drought.

Bolts notes: Characters helps team avoid prolonged skids

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— The Tampa Bay Lightning conclude the regular-season schedule this week as a one-of-a-kind team.

Bolts top Panthers, secure home ice when playoffs start

- The Lightning packed their bags at the end of their five-game, nine-day road trip and headed home late Saturday. After their victory against Florida on Saturday, they won’t need their suitcases for at least the next...

Bolts Notes: One returns, one departs with injury

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— With less than two weeks before the start of the playoffs, the Lightning injury situation continues to remain a moving target. .

Bolts rookie Drouin finding his confidence

- The celebration looked subtle. A quick double fist pump with a slight leg raise as Jonathan Drouin made his way toward the boards.

Bolts playoff tickets, on sale today, restricted to Florida

- In an effort to keep visiting teams’ fans out of Amalie Arena during the playoffs, the Lightning are restricting sales to state residents. Any tickets purchased via credit card without a Florida address will be cance...

Bolts lose to Ottawa but close in on home ice anyway

- With a playoff spot already tucked in their back pocket heading into the final weeks of the regular season, the Lightning look more at the style of play than the end result.

Bolts notes: C Johnson nominated for Masterson

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— The path from undrafted prospect to NHL All-Star led Tyler Johnson from his native Washington state to the Tampa Bay Lightning and his first All-Star selection this season.<...

Bolts sign draft pick Peca to entry-level contract

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OTTAWA — The Tampa Bay Lightning signed 2011 seventh-round draft pick Matthew Peca to a two-year entry-level contract that will begin in 2015-16.

Lightning's Koekkoek makes favorable first impression

- Slater Koekkoek, 21, made his NHL debut in Toronto on Tuesday and, assuming top defenseman Victor Hedman is unavailable for a second consecutive game, figures to be in the lineup tonight when the Lightning play the Senators.

Bolts experience post-clinch letdown against Toronto

- With a playoff berth already under its belt, a depleted Tampa Bay team came out flat, looking lifeless at times in a 3-1 loss to Toronto, a team nearly 40 points behind in the standings.

Bolts Notes: Hedman day to day; Koekkoek gets call

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— Another injury means another highly rated prospect steps into the Lightning lineup.

Lightning clinch playoffs, complete sweep of Montreal

- Playing without four regulars, including half of its defensive corps, Tampa Bay won 5-3 and clinched a playoff berth in the same building it exited the postseason last year. The magic number to secure home ice in the first ...

Bolts notes: C Johnson, D Sustr among the injured

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— Several surprises greeted the Tampa bayLightning as they hit the ice for Monday’s morning skate at Bell Centre. And the surprises came not only from who was on the ...

After two-game skid, Bolts seek sweep of Montreal

- A late-season swoon is not something the Lightning want to entertain. Yet with six games left in the regular season, that’s what Tampa Bay is facing heading into the Bell Centre to face division-leading Montreal tonig...

Bolts lose two to injuries, get shut out in Detroit

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— Saturday’s matinee at Joe Louis Arena could not have been scripted any worse for the Lightning.

Bolts seek elusive boost in power play as playoffs approach

- Special teams experience their fair share of peaks and valleys throughout a season.

Bolts falls to Nashville, can’t seal playoff spot

- A rare off night for goaltender Ben Bishop put the Lightning behind early, and Tampa Bay was unable to catch up, losing 3-2. The magic number to secure a playoff berth is now two points.

Bolts notes: Paquette back, Namestnikov stays, for now

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—Injuries and intrigue surrounded the Lightning morning skate Thursday as Tampa Bay closed out a six-game homestand against Nashville.

Bolts tie franchise win record with 4-3 victory over Panthers

- The Lightning continued their march down the stretch of the season charging toward the postseason, scoring twice in the third period in a record-tying win over Florida.

Bolts notes: Both Florida teams in Cup contention

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— Late March meetings between the Lightning and Florida Panthers generally see one of the two state teams playing out the string.

Bolts’ Stamkos shows he wants to lead at both ends of ice

- Heading into the season, talk surrounding Steven Stamkos was of his wanting to be a more reliable player, wanting to round out his game and be considered a 200-foot player, not somebody worried just about the offensive side...

Bolts show fight, end losing skid vs. Bruins

- Tampa Bay scored twice in the span of 15 seconds less than a minute after Steven Stamkos’ second career fight to lift Tampa Bay to a 5-3 victory over the Bruins.

Lightning seeking solution to Bruins

- While trying to climb into the ring with the NHL’s heavyweights the past two seasons, the Lightning have found a way to score some decisions against historically difficult opponents.

Bolts excel in playoff primer, beat Red Wings, 3-1

- The postseason is the proving ground. The regular season is still just a training exercise. But the Lightning are certainly enjoying some solid on-the-job experience in the stretch run to the playoffs.

Bolts notes: Palat returns against Red Wings

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— Just over a week after LW Ondrej Palat took a puck off his foot that was supposed to sideline the second-year forward for a minimum of two weeks, Palat returned to the lineup....

Palat hopes to rejoin his linemates tonight

- After missing three games with a foot injury, Ondrej Palat returned to practice on Thursday without limitation and is expected to make an earlier-than-expected return to the lineup when Tampa Bay hosts Detroit tonight.

Lightning’s penalty kill now among NHL’s best

- With 11 games left in the regular season, Tampa Bay quietly has pulled itself into the top 10 in the 30-team league in penalty killing after finishing tied for 23rd last season.

Bolts' teammates defend Bishop after hit by Montreal's Prust

- Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop turned his back, played the puck and was planted face-first into the boards behind his own net. The hit came from Montreal’s Brandon Prust, who pushed Bishop into the end boards and tou...

Lightning beat Canadiens, tying them atop Atlantic Division

- Steven Stamkos scored twice and added an assist to lead Tampa Bay to a 4-2 victory against Montreal. The win pulled Tampa Bay into a tie with Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Bolts notes: GMs to discuss 3-on-3 play in OT

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— As general managers gather in Boca Raton this week for meetings, one of the big topics on the docket is the potential use of 3-on-3 play in overtime in an attempt to limit the...