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Lightning secure the franchise's first ever Presidents' Trophy

By virtue of the Monday's 4-1 win over the Coyotes, the Bolts will finish the regular season with the best record in the NHL

by Bryan Burns /

Add another couple of firsts to a historic Tampa Bay Lightning season filled with them.

For the first time in franchise history, the Lightning captured the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular season team, clinching the award by virtue of their 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Monday night at AMALIE Arena.

The Lightning improved to 56-13-4 (116 points) on the season and are guaranteed to finish with more points than any other team in the League even with nine games still remaining on the regular season schedule.

Tampa Bay will have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs as a result of their regular season dominance.

The win over Arizona also clinched the Eastern Conference regular season championship for a second-straight season, the first time in team history the Lightning have finished as the top team in the East in back-to-back seasons. The Bolts are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the third time overall (also: 2003-04).

Along with locking up the aforementioned accomplishments, Tampa Bay also captured its fourth division title in team history to go along with Southeast Division titles won in 2002-03 and 2003-04 and the Atlantic Division crown earned last season.

The Lightning remain on pace to finish the regular season with more wins than any other team in NHL history. With 56 victories, the Bolts need to win six of their remaining nine games to tie the League record for most victories in a single season, set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings (62 regular season wins).

The Bolts also have an outside chance to catch the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (132 points) for most points ever recorded in a single season in League history.

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