Panthers, Lightning close disappointing seasons in Tampa

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Given the point totals of St. Louis and Stamkos, it isn’t surprising that the Lightning were shut out for only the second time this season when they lost 2-0 at the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The first instance came on March 14 versus the New York Islanders and was also a 2-0 final. Anders Lindback made 22 saves versus Boston for Tampa Bay, which had snapped a six-game slide with Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs. “I feel for our guys because everybody makes mistakes. I think, truthfully, we may have made less mistakes than the Bruins did, but we couldn’t bury our chances,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. The Panthers were also held without a goal in their last game, but the struggling club was shut out for the seventh time this season when it lost 4-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. Jacob Markstrom was beaten four times on just 17 shots in the loss, Florida’s seventh in the past eight games that clinched the league’s worst record. The Panthers are last in the NHL with 34 points. “That stinks, when you’re at the bottom of the pile,” said Florida head coach Kevin Dineen said. source: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/04/27/panthers-lightning-close-disappointing-seasons-in-tampa/

Tampa Bay Lightning: Another Disappointing Season Ends

The Lightning have one final chance to help Steven Stamkos surpass Alex Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard trophy while also cementing Martin St. Louis’ first Art Ross trophy since 2004 (yes, the same year Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup). Meanwhile, the Panthers look to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss in their home finale that came two nights ago, by assisting Jonathan Huberdeau in his quest for the Calder Trophy. Then there’s the fans. Even through another horrible season full of adversity they’ve stuck by this Lightning team. Because of that they deserve to see a show. Look, no one wants to leave unhappy, something doubled when playing in front of the home crowd. Much of this is only possible with a win, and the Lightning haven’t seen too many of those here in April. But against the Cats they’ve at least been able to salvage one point. Given these team’s difficulties winning games, keeping things close is all fans can ask for. Lightning players and team personnel know how crucial fans are to the team’s success. For that reason, players will walk the red carpet signing autographs beginning at 3:30 p.m., so getting there early is practically a must. source: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/2013/04/27/tampa-bay-lightning-another-disappointing-season-ends/

Florida at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

Nick Bjugstad scored his first NHL goal for the Panthers. Scottie Upshall had the other Florida goal. “That was pretty exciting for me,” Bjugstad said. “I didn’t really expect it. It’s tough in the NHL getting shots so I just put it on net and it went in.” After Malone scored, Bjugstad cut the Florida deficit to 2-1 from the top of the right circle with 3:06 left in the first. Fleischmann tied it at 2 early in the second. Upshall’s rebound goal at 5:30 of the third got Florida even at 3-all. “It was a nice way to finish it,” Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. “They worked hard. We started well, we finished well. source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/gametracker/recap/NHL_20130427_FLA@TB/tampa-bays-st-louis-will-win-art-ross-trophy-with-60-points

Bruins recapture edge vs. Lightning

We have to put the gas pedal to the metal and we have to continue to play the way we did today. We felt good about ourselves.” Prior to the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Bruins finished the regular season 3-2-1 in their past six games. It wasn’t the way the team wanted to play entering the playoffs, but the Bruins finished with their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years. More On The Bruins • Send Joe or James a question Last season, the Bruins played great down the stretch, posting a 9-2-1 record in the final 12 games, including a 4-1-1 mark over the final six games. That stretch didn’t matter much since the Bruins lost in the first round to the Washington Capitals in seven games. This spring, the Bruins can’t find any consistency in their game, but the players believe they still have the same mentality as they have the past couple of seasons. “I don’t think it’s different, it’s just not there right now,” Krejci said. “We want to have the same team identity as we did a couple of years ago. We have the same identity, it’s just not there right now and we have to find it. We know what it is, we just have to go out there and establish ourselves as we did a couple of years ago.” How can a team do that? “Bring emotions in the game and play our game,” Krejci added. “We all know what our game is, but we also know what we’ve showed and that’s not who we are. source: http://espn.go.com/boston/nhl/story/_/id/9213618/boston-bruins-recapture-edge-vs-tampa-bay-lightning

Florida Panthers top Lightning to wrap up season

The Panthers ended with a little pride as they finished this brutal season ranked dead last in the 30-team NHL but with wins in two of the final three. Jonathan Huberdeau finished his rookie-of-the-year campaign on a high note by assisting on three goals to claim the freshman scoring title. “They worked hard. We got a snapshot of our potential [Saturday] and got a gritty effort,” said coach Kevin Dineen, who led Florida to the division title in his first season behind the bench last year. “We got some real timely plays. It was good to get that comeback, show some belief and keep pushing in the right direction.’’ With realignment coming to the league next season, Florida and Tampa Bay will remain together, although they’ll be heading deeper north more frequently in what could be called the Snowbird Division. The Lightning and Panthers join Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa in 2013-14. Washington won the division for the seventh time in the 14-year history, which was highlighted by Stanley Cup championships by the Lightning and Carolina. Florida, like Atlanta, won the division just once. “I think we’re looking at a much tougher division when you look at who is coming and who we’re going to be playing against,” Brian Campbell said of moving divisions next year. “It’s going to be an even bigger challenge for us.” On Saturday, the Lightning took a 2-0 lead in the opening period before Nick Bjugstad notched his first NHL goal in his 11th game near the close of the first. “We fought back and played hard at the end. source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/28/3368893/florida-panthers-top-lightning.html

 

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