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Burns: 3 Things from a season finale victory

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning closed out the 2016-17 season with a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at AMALIE Arena.

Although the Lightning missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2013, the Bolts can take solace in the way they finished the season. On February 3, the Lightning were dead last in the Eastern Conference. They went 20-6-4 since - tied with Washington for the best record in the league over that stretch -- to jump back into the playoff conversation and push Toronto until the next-to-last day of the regular season.

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Burns: 3 Things from beating Montreal to stay alive

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 4-2 win in Montreal

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Recap: Lightning 4, Habs 2

Bolts still alive after 4-2 win against Habs

Caley Chelios recaps the Lightning's 4-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens

  • 01:41 •

The Tampa Bay Lightning live to fight another day.

The Lightning remained in the hunt for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference after defeating Montreal 4-2 on Friday at the Bell Centre.

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Burns: 3 Things from staying alive in Toronto

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Thursday's 4-1 victory to continue the playoff push

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Point, Palat combine for PPG

TBL@TOR: Point buries Palat's smooth feed for PPG

Ondrej Palat slides a beautiful pass to Brayden Point, who buries a wrister from inside the circle for a power-play goal in the 2nd period

  • 00:57 •

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't out of it just yet.

The Lightning kept alive their slim playoff hopes following a satisfying 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an elimination game for the Bolts.

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Burns: 3 things from getting shut out in Boston

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 4-0 loss to Boston

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Bolts blanked by B's, 4-0

TBL Recap: Vasilevskiy makes 34 saves in 4-0 loss

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves, but the Lightning could not solve Tuukka Rask in a 4-0 road loss to the Bruins

  • 03:08 •

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't officially eliminated from the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Bolts chances of making the postseason have nearly vanished following a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

The Bruins clinched a playoff spot Tuesday night after missing out the last two seasons. The Lightning can no longer catch the Bruins in the standings. The Bolts can tie Boston in points, but the Bruins will own the tiebreaker (wins in regulation and overtime) no matter what.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from doubling up Dallas

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns breaks down Sunday's 6-3 victory to pull within three points of second wild card

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Recap: DAL 3, TBL 6

Erne, Palat power Lightning to 6-3 win against Stars

Adam Erne tallied two goals and Ondrej Palat had a three-point night to back Peter Budaj's 23 saves in the Lightning's 6-3 win over the Stars

  • 04:21 •

The Tampa Bay Lightning continued to stay alive in the chase for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs following a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Sunday night at AMALIE Arena.

The Bolts, however, aren't getting much help from teams they're trying to catch in the standings. Boston won its fifth game in a row Sunday afternoon, defeating Chicago 3-2. Currently, Tampa Bay is three points behind Toronto and Ottawa for third place in the Atlantic Division/the second wild card, but the Maple Leafs and Senators each own a game in hand on the Bolts. The Bruins are four points in front of the Bolts, but Tampa Bay owns a game in hand.

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Burns: 3 Things from an overtime loss to Montreal

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 2-1 loss in overtime to Montreal

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

With the regular season coming to a rapid conclusion and the Tampa Bay Lightning still looking on the outside of the playoff chase, the Bolts can ill-afford to let points slip.

Saturday, the Lightning picked up a significant point after battling Montreal to a 1-1 draw through 60 minutes of regulation.

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Burns: 3 Things from sweeping the Red Wings

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 5-3 win over Detroit

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

For the first time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Lightning swept a regular season series from the Detroit Red Wings.

Even dating back to the seasons the Lightning and the Red Wings played just once or twice, the Lightning were never able to win every game in a single season. The closest they came was in 2003-04 when they tied the Red Wings in their lone meeting. In 2013-14, the Lightning won four of five. A year later, they won three of four.

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Burns: 3 Things from a wild comeback against Chicago

From a three-goal rally to Yanni Gourde's dramatic winner, Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Monday's 5-4 victory

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Gourde's overtime winner

CHI@TBL: Gourde buries OT game-winner on a breakaway

Yanni Gourde races in on a breakaway and unleashes a wicked wrist shot that beats Scott Darling to give the Lightning a 5-4 win in overtime

  • 01:11 •

If the Tampa Bay Lightning are able to squeeze into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will likely point to their comeback victory Monday night against Chicago as the catalyst for getting in.

The Lightning defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime for their sixth-consecutive win at home in the regular season over the Hawks. The Bolts have earned a point from their last 11 regular season games against Chicago, going 9-0-2.

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Burns: 3 Things from an OT win in Detroit

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 2-1 win in overtime in Detroit

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

After his Tampa Bay Lightning dropped three straight games at AMALIE Arena, three games they couldn't afford to lose with a playoff chase coming down to the final days of the regular season, Victor Hedman said the Bolts wouldn't let the recent skid break them, that they needed to rebound and regroup for a critical two-game back-to-back set in a pair of cities the Lightning historically hadn't fared well in.

And rebound is exactly what the Lightning did.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from doubling up Boston

From overcoming deficits to Nikita Kucherov's big night, Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Thursday's 6-3 triumph

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Kucherov's third career hatty

TBL@BOS: Kucherov tallies third career hat trick

Nikita Kucherov scores two power-play goals and finds the empty net to seal a victory, recording the third hat trick of his career in a 6-3 win

  • 01:03 •

The Tampa Bay Lightning were reeling, having lost their last three-consecutive games, all at AMALIE Arena.

With 10 games remaining in the regular season, however, and time quickly running out for the Lightning to make a final push for the postseason, the Bolts regained their winning touch on the road.

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Burns: 3 Things from getting swept by the Coyotes

From leaky defense to a sub-par effort, Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns details Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Arizona

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Recap: Coyotes 5 - Lightning 3

Game Recap: Coyotes 5 - Lightning 3

Caley Chelios recaps the Lightning's 5-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes

  • 02:06 •

No way to sugar coat it, Tampa Bay's 5-3 defeat to Arizona was about as bad a loss as the Lightning have had all season.

In a game they absolutely had to win to keep pace in the race for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, the Bolts put together an uninspiring performance.

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Burns: 3 Things from a loss to the Caps

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 5-3 loss to Washington

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning can ill-afford a losing streak at this point of the season with a playoff spot within reach.

But playing the Washington Capitals, the Lightning just didn't have enough firepower to overcome the top team in the NHL points-wise and fell 5-3, dropping their second game in a row.

Tampa Bay rallied from a two-goal deficit in the first period but couldn't replicate the feat in the third when the Capitals again went back in front by two. The Lightning drop two points behind Toronto for the second wild card, the Maple Leafs losing in overtime to Chicago.

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Burns: 3 Things from a shutout loss to Toronto

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 5-0 loss to Toronto

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

With Philadelphia, Florida, Ottawa and the New York Islanders all losing Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning had a golden opportunity to gain even more ground in the playoff chase when they hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at AMALIE Arena.

Instead, the Lightning fell victim to a host of issues and turned in one of their poorer performances of the season in a 5-0 shellacking at the hands of the Leafs.

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Burns: 3 Things from an OT win in Ottawa

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 2-1 win in overtime in Ottawa

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Don't look now but the Tampa Bay Lightning are in a playoff spot.

Okay, so the New York Islanders technically own the tiebreaker over the Lightning currently for the second wild card in the East. Both the Bolts and the Isles are level with 77 points, but New York has 32 wins in regulation and overtime to Tampa Bay's 30.

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Burns: 3 Things from a big win over the Rangers

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Monday's 3-2 victory over the Rangers

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

It took three tries, but finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a victory over the New York Rangers this season.

The Lightning were blown out 6-1 in New York in arguably their worst game of the season on October 30. They lost a hard-fought 1-0 game in overtime a week ago at AMALIE Arena in a game that felt more like a Conference Final playoff game than an early-March regular season tilt.

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Burns: 3 Things from rallying against Florida

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts 3-2 win over Florida

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Following his team's come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Atlantic Division rival Florida, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper called Ondrej Palat arguably the best player on the ice.

"He was a stud," Cooper said.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from beating Minnesota

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Thursday's 4-1 win over the Wild

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning earned one of their biggest wins of the season -- and maybe their best -- after a demonstrative 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, the top team in the Western Conference.

Unfortunately, they couldn't enjoy it because of injuries to three key players, all centers.

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