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Burns: 3 Things we learned from an end to the point streak

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay entered San Jose having won seven games in a row and riding a 16-game point streak.

But the Lightning's remarkable run came to an end against the Sharks, San Jose pulling away from the Bolts in the third period for a 5-2 victory Saturday night at SAP Center.

The Lightning lost in regulation for the first time since November 27, a stretch of 39 days where the Bolts registered at least one point each time they took the ice.

This day was bound to happen. The Lightning weren't going to win every game all the way through the end of the regular season.

Still doesn't make the loss any easier to swallow.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from dethroning the Kings

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 6-2 win over the Kings

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay's road contest at the Los Angeles Kings had all the makings of a trap game for the Lightning.

Sandwiched around tough outings at Anaheim and at San Jose, the game against the Kings featured the top team in the NHL by a wide margin against one of its worst, the Kings entering Thursday's contest ranked tied for last in the League. Los Angeles, the NHL's lowest-scoring team, had netted 91 goals before the Lightning game; the Bolts scored 68 in the month of December alone.

Typically, these are the types of games where the favorite comes in flat, and sometimes the underdog can take advantage and score the upset.

The Lightning let it be known early they weren't about to let the Kings trip them up off their current run.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a rally over Montreal

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 6-5 win over the Canadiens on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a habit this season of finding different ways to win a game, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at AMALIE Arena, a win that extended the Lightning's point streak to 14 games, was just another example.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from outlasting Philly

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 6-5 overtime win over Philadelphia

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Well, where do we start with this one.

Tampa Bay played almost a carbon copy of its first meeting against Philadelphia Thursday night at AMALIE Arena in the opening game from the Holiday Break.

In both games, the Lightning scored five goals through two periods and established a multiple-goal lead.

In both games, the Flyers stormed back in the third period in quick-strike fashion to tie the game, leaving the Bolts bewildered at how a seemingly comfortable victory was suddenly in danger of slipping away.

And in both games, the Lightning rebounded in overtime to bank two more points.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a road trip ending win in Edmonton

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 6-3 win over the Oilers on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning capped the pre-Christmas portion of the regular season schedule by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 at Rogers Place Saturday night.

In doing so, the Lightning have completed the most successful start to a season in franchise history.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a shootout win in Calgary

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-4 shootout win over Calgary

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning are used to taking the opposition's best shot this season.

That's life when you're the top team in the NHL standings by an ever-increasing margin.

The Lightning, however, have perfected the art of absorbing an opponent's initial surge and then countering with a quick flurry of their own to continue to pile up wins.

The Calgary Flames were the latest victim of the Bolts' rope-a-dope game.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from punishing the Canucks

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 5-2 win over the Canucks

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have won games this season after trailing by multiple goals and rallying or by scoring a barrage of goals early and coasting to victory.

The Lightning have won games because of superior special teams play. They've won games when outshooting their opponent by a wide margin or by holding on for dear life behind stellar goaltending.

In Vancouver, the Bolts found a new way to win:

By outpunching their opponent.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from an overtime loss in Winnipeg

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-4 overtime loss in Winnipeg on Sunday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning got a well-deserved point to open their four-game road trip through Western Canada.

But the Bolts' eight-game win streak came to a close, one game shy of tying the franchise record.

Winnipeg earned a 5-4 overtime victory Sunday night at Bell MTS Place, Mark Schefiele striking with 42 seconds remaining in the extra session to send the home crowd to the exits happy. The Lightning held a 4-3 lead in the third period but couldn't make it stand up, the Jets tying the game with 5:37 to go to force overtime.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from an eighth-straight win

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 4-1 win over Toronto on Thursday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Here's the scary part for the rest of the National Hockey League about Tampa Bay's 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Truth be told, the Lightning didn't play all that well.

And yet, they still defeated the second-best team (points-wise) in the league by three goals.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from seven in a row

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 6-3 win over the Rangers on Monday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Monday's 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers wasn't the smoothest performance by any stretch for the Tampa Bay Lightning during their current seven-game win streak.

And yet, the Lightning still defeated a pretty good opponent by three goals, put up six goals on a team averaging 3.1 goals allowed per game and tallied two of those goals on the power play to double up the Rangers.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from plowing the Avalanche

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 7-1 win over the Avalanche on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

In recording their season-best sixth victory in a row, the Tampa Bay Lightning played perhaps their most complete game of the season in a 7-1 demolition of the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night at AMALIE Arena.

"It was one of them, top 3 for sure," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said following the game. "Anytime you can beat a team like that in that manner, it's pretty impressive."

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from beating Boston

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 3-2 win over Boston on Thursday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning extended their win streak to a season-long five games and continued to create distance between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference (and the NHL for that matter) following a methodical 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins at AMALIE Arena Thursday.

Again, the Lightning's depth was on full display, the go-ahead and game-winning goals coming from unexpected sources.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a road trip sweep

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 6-5 shootout win over the Red Wings

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

If you're wondering who's the hottest team in the National Hockey League right now, look no further than the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bolts rallied from three deficits Tuesday night in Detroit, including two separate two-goal deficits, to earn a thrilling 6-5 shootout victory over the Red Wings. The win was the fourth in a row for the Lightning and capped a three-game sweep of their road trip in which they played three games in four nights.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a rally in Sunrise

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's come-from-behind win over the Panthers on Saturday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

At the halfway point of Tampa Bay's road trip starter in Florida, the Lightning appeared to be in an unescapable hole.

Moments earlier, the Panthers scored 12 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play to extend their lead to 4-1. The Lightning owned the advantage on the shot counter, but every opportunity the Panthers received, it seemed, was a major scoring chance.

And they weren't missing.

The Lightning never gave up, though. They've been down before in games this season and rallied. And with their offense, three goals in 30 minutes was not unthinkable.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from ending Buffalo's 10-game win streak

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts' 5-4 win over the Sabres on Thursday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Thursday night at AMALIE Arena might have been your run-of-the-mill late-November regular season game against a division opponent on the schedule, but it certainly felt like Game 7 of a playoff series.

Every shift, every shot, every movement even was magnified when the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the Buffalo Sabres with first place in the National Hockey League standings on the line.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a loss to Anaheim

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 3-1 loss to the Ducks

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Anaheim Ducks can be one of the more difficult teams to play against in the NHL because of their size and physical play combined with the way they clog up the neutral zone to prevent teams from getting into any kind of rhythm offensively.

The Tampa Bay Lightning found out just how effective Anaheim's style of play can be against a team predicated on speed.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from three in a row

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over New Jersey on Sunday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Back at home in the friendly confines of AMALIE Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning are starting to hit their stride.

The Lightning won for the third game in a row and are 3-0-0 on their current homestand after downing the New Jersey Devils 5-2 at AMALIE Arena Sunday night. Like the Chicago game two nights earlier, the Bolts raced out to a 4-1 advantage by the end of the first period and made that lead stand up throughout.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from another win over Chicago

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts' 4-2 win over Chicago on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

What is it about the Chicago Blackhawks that brings out the best in the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Well, other than that Stanley Cup Final a couple seasons ago.

Tampa Bay continued its recent regular season dominance over the Blackhawks, completing the two-game season sweep following a 4-2 victory over the Hawks Friday night at AMALIE Arena and earning its seventh win in a row over the Hawks.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from blowing out the Panthers

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 7-3 win over the Panthers on Wednesday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Wednesday was Martin St. Louis Night at AMALIE Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning honoring their former captain and franchise all-time leading scorer on his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

To mark the occasion, St. Louis' famous goal song Louie, Louie played every time the Lightning lit the lamp.

Fortunately for St. Louis and the rest of the Lightning, the sellout crowd at AMALIE Arena got to hear it quite often.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from not quite enough in Nashville

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts' 3-2 loss to the Predators

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

For a moment, it looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning might get run out of Bridgestone Arena.

The Nashville Predators had just scored their third goal to go up 3-1 in the second period. They continued hammering away at the Lightning net, producing a pair of quality chances that just fell by the wayside. The Bolts were hemorrhaging Grade-A scoring opportunities. One more goal probably would have sunk them.

And then, gradually, the Lightning worked their way back in the game, quelling the momentum the Predators had generated in front of their home fans and wrestling it back in their favor. For the final 25 minutes or so of the game, the Lightning controlled play.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a wild win in Philadelphia

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Bolts' wild 6-5 overtime win over the Flyers

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

With 10 minutes to go in Tampa Bay's road game at Philadelphia Saturday afternoon, the Lightning owned a comfortable 5-1 lead and appeared well on their way to collecting their 14th win of the season and second win on the four-game road trip.

What happened after that was a blur.

The Bolts wound up with the victory but nearly suffered a monumental collapse.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a powerful win in Pittsburgh

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's come-from-behind win over the Penguins

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Admit it, when Phil Kessel scored in the first period to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead over Tampa Bay at PPG Paints Arena Thursday, you thought the Lightning were in deep trouble.

Tampa Bay entered Pittsburgh having lost two-consecutive games for the first time all season. Earlier Thursday, the Lightning learned they'd be without All-Star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy indefinitely as he recovers from a lower-body injury. And the Bolts came into the game against the Penguins giving up the opening goal in eight of their nine previous games.

So what do the Lightning do?

They promptly go out and give up two goals, both on the power play, in the first period for the third game in a row.

For some reason, it seemed the hockey gods had fallen out of favor with the Lightning.

But then Brayden Point proved he's no mere mortal.

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Burns: 3 things we learned from a second-straight loss

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 2-1 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com