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Burns: 3 Things we learned from routing the Leafs

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 6-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Monday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Following a 4-1 loss to the Bruins in Boston to close out the month of February, Tampa Bay goaltender Louis Domingue said the challenge the rest of the regular season for the Lightning was to prove to teams they can't play with the Bolts.

That message was delivered to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from another win over Detroit

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 3-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have gone nearly three full seasons without losing to Atlantic Division rival Detroit.

The Lightning extended their incredible run against the Red Wings Saturday at AMALIE Arena, securing a 3-2 victory for their 14th win in a row over the men from Michigan. The last time the Bolts dropped a regular season game to the Red Wings, Ben Bishop was Tampa Bay's No. 1 goaltender and Brayden Point was plying his trade in the Western Hockey League with Moose Jaw.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from getting shut out by the Wild

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 3-0 loss to the Wild on Thursday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay ran into a desperate Minnesota team Thursday night at AMALIE Arena, the Wild hanging onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference coming into Tampa and looking to hold off challenges from hot-on-their-heels Colorado and Arizona.

The result was predictable yet unexpected for a Lightning team that has found a way to stay motivated down the stretch run of the regular season despite owning a massive lead over the rest of the National Hockey League.

Minnesota exited AMALIE Arena with a 3-0 victory behind a hat trick from Jason Zucker and a 25-save shutout effort by Lightning killer Devan Dubnyk.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from downing the Jets

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over Winnipeg on Tuesday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay's 5-2 victory over the Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night was one of the team's most impressive wins of the season.

Some uneven play had crept into the Lightning's game over the previous five contests, but, against the Jets, the Bolts were humming on all cylinders. Tampa Bay jumped in front just 1:34 in following Yanni Gourde's 18th goal of the season, extended its lead to 3-1 by the end of the second period and put the game out of reach midway through the third on Brayden Point's NHL-best 19th power-play goal of the season.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from dismissing Ottawa

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 5-1 victory over the Senators

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Late in the second period of Tampa Bay's 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at AMALIE Arena, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was undercut behind the Ottawa goal, falling awkwardly and crashing hard into the back wall.

For a moment, Bolts nation held its breath as Stamkos remained down for a time, slowly rising to his feet and skating off under his own power but hunched over. Stamkos was picked up by the Fox Sport Sun broadcast mouthing "I'm fine" to Lightning assistant athletic trainer Mike Poirier as he sat on the bench. But when the Lightning went on a power play moments later, Stamkos was nowhere to be seen on the ice, Tyler Johnson taking his place in the right circle on the first unit.

A hush fell over AMALIE Arena for the remainder of the second period and through the intermission. An injury to a key player could be the one thing to derail this historic season. The fans' concern was alleviated, however, when Stamkos emerged from the tunnel for the start of the third and took the opening face-off of the period.

That scare was about the only drama during Saturday's contest.

The top-ranked team in the NHL did what it's supposed to do against the bottom-ranked team: win convincingly. Tampa Bay led 2-1 after the first period, 4-1 after two periods and put the game out of reach two minutes into the third period on Mikhail Sergachev's bomb from the right point.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a streak-ending loss in Boston

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Bruins on Thursday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Both Tampa Bay and Boston entered their Atlantic Division heavyweight tilt Thursday night riding 14-game point streaks, the first time in NHL history two teams squared off while owning simultaneous point runs of 14 or more games.

Boston's streak lives on.

The Lightning's came to a jarring crash at TD Garden.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a ninth-consecutive win

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 4-3 shootout victory over the Kings on Monday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning matched a franchise record for longest win streak following a 4-3 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings Monday night at AMALIE Arena, the Bolts earning their ninth-straight win.

Victory No. 9 didn't come easy for the Lightning, however.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from outlasting Buffalo

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 2-1 shootout victory over the Sabres on Thursday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay didn't play one of its better games of the season Thursday night at AMALIE Arena versus the Buffalo Sabres.

Probably wasn't even in the top half of its performances.

Yet, here we are again, breaking down another Lightning victory, this one a 2-1 shootout win to improve to 47-11-4 (98 pts.).

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from sweeping a back-to-back

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't just beating teams of late, and they've done plenty of winning having picked up their seventh victory in a row and 46th of the season following a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from another shutout win

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 3-0 shutout of the Canadiens on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

For two periods, Tampa Bay and Montreal were locked in a tight, evenly-played contest with neither team able to penetrate the other's goal.

The Lightning's depth, however, took over in the third period, and the Bolts pulled away from the Canadiens for a 3-0 victory to sweep their three-game homestand and push their win streak to five games and point streak to nine contests.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from smashing the Stars

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 6-0 shutout of the Stars on Thursday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The reports of the death of the Tampa Bay Lightning offense were greatly exaggerated.

After the Lightning scored only seven goals in the five games coming out of the bye week, fans wanted to know, "What gives?" The highest-powered offensive unit in the NHL, the Bolts were accustomed to scoring four goals a game.

Now, fans are thinking, "Save some of those for the playoffs."

Tampa Bay put up six goals in an impressive 6-0 shutout of the Dallas Stars Thursday night at AMALIE Arena, the Bolts' fourth win in a row and eighth-straight game with a point.

In those four wins, the Lightning have netted 22 goals, the offense clicking on all cylinders.

For that matter, so is the defense and the goaltending.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from conquering Calgary

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

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Calgary came into AMALIE Arena as one of the NHL's top teams, the Flames' 74 points good for second place in the Western Conference standings and third overall in the League.

Tampa Bay made Calgary look rather ordinary, however, on Tuesday.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from sweeping the Panthers

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

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

Tampa Bay certainly quieted all its cynics who wondered loudly whether the team's goal scoring had suddenly dried up.

Quieted rather emphatically too.

The Lightning put up five goals in back-to-back nights to upend the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 at AMALIE Arena Saturday before tallying another win a day later, pulling away from the Florida Panthers 5-2 in Sunrise Sunday.

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

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 1-0 overtime loss to the Blues on Thursday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their new third jersey system Thursday night, sporting a sleek, stylish, mostly black jersey with complements of gray and silver that had fans buzzing before the Bolts home matchup against the St. Louis Blues.

Unfortunately, some of the same issues that have plagued the Lightning of late re-emerged on a night they ushered in their new look.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a shootout loss to Vegas

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 3-2 shootout loss to Vegas on Tuesday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning returned to AMALIE Arena Tuesday for their first home contest since January 19, a 16-day break between games in Tampa.

The result from their game against Vegas will leave the Lightning wondering what if.

The Golden Knights rallied from 2-0 down to record a 3-2 shootout victory over the Bolts, the first shootout Tampa Bay has dropped all season. The Lightning had chances to prevail in the three round skills competition. They had opportunities at the end of the third period to pull back in front.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from sweeping a back-to-back

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 3-2 win over the Rangers on Saturday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

After a sub-par (for them) month of January, the Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to a perfect start in February after sweeping a back-to-back set in New York.

The Lightning outlasted the Islanders 1-0 in a shootout on Friday night behind a 36-save shutout effort from Andrei Vasilevskiy and a shootout conversion by Victor Hedman, his third successful shootout attempt in three tries this season.

The Bolts followed up Saturday by holding on to defeat the Rangers 3-2 in Madison Square Garden, a game where Tampa Bay was ahead 3-0 after 30 minutes but needed key saves by Louis Domingue down the stretch to see the victory through to the finish line.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a loss out of the break

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning returned to action in Pittsburgh on Wednesday following a 10-day break in the schedule, a product of the Bolts' bye week and All-Star weekend combining.

Truth be told, the Lightning didn't play all that poorly against the Penguins despite a 4-2 loss.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from doubling up San Jose

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

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning will go into their bye week feeling good about themselves after pulling away from the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at AMALIE Arena on Saturday night, avenging a loss to the Sharks in San Jose earlier this season.

The Lightning won't take the ice again until January 30 at Pittsburgh, going 10 days without a game thanks to their bye week sandwiched around the All-Star break.

They made sure not to go into the extended break on a sour note.

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Burns: 3 things we learned from a loss to the Leafs

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 4-2 loss to Toronto on Thursday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have hit a bit of a skid following a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at AMALIE Arena.

At least, what qualifies for a skid for the Lightning this season.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from shutting out the Stars

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 2-0 shutout of the Stars on Tuesday night

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a habit this season of bouncing back from poor performances.

Two nights ago in Brooklyn, the Lightning weren't ready at the opening puck drop, gave up three goals in the first five minutes to dig themselves a near-impossible hole to climb out of and failed to make much of a dent in the deficit in a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders.

Their play in Dallas Tuesday to conclude a three-game road trip was more of what we're used to seeing from the Bolts.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a blowout loss in Brooklyn

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps the Lightning's 5-1 loss to the Islanders on Sunday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning had been perfect against Metropolitan teams this season, owning a 12-0-0 record against the division entering Sunday's second half of a back-to-back in Brooklyn.

The New York Islanders emphatically ended that run, however.

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Burns: 3 Things we learned from a rally over Carolina

Beat writer Bryan Burns recaps Tampa Bay's 3-1 victory over Carolina

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

For two-plus periods, the Lightning looked lethargic, out of sorts and not at all like the team Bolts fans have gotten used to watching during Thursday's home tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes.

When Justin Williams scored on a rebound early in the second period to put Carolina ahead 1-0, it seemed that might be the only goal necessary for the Hurricanes with the way Tampa Bay's offense was stagnating.

But like we've seen from this team throughout the season, the Lightning are never out of it, even when they appear to be, well, out of it.

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