Tampa Bay was struck by lightning through a Colorado avalanche in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday and veteran Steven Stamkos gave his team a message after the defeat.
Stamkos told his Lightning teammates to pull themselves up with a 7-0 blow and get back into the series.
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“It’s not entirely acceptable, especially at this time of year,” Stankos said of the damage. By Athletic. “Listen, people are going to watch this game tonight and maybe the series is over. But our team, we’re a very solid team.
“So whether it’s one-nothing or seven-nothing or 10-nothing, it’s a loss in the playoffs and you have to move on. We have to move forward as a team and as an individual. Let’s go back home. In front of our fans, let’s see what we’ve made of.”
Lightning has been in the dogfights all season.
Avalanche Root Lightning 7-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the Cup Final
Tampa Bay battled the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, the President’s Cup winners in the second round, picked up the Florida Panthers and came back from a 0-2 deficit to beat the New York Rangers in the conference final. Not only that, Lightning has played 67 post-season games since August 1, 2020 – the most played by a team in three playoffs.
Former NHL star Justin Williams says it puts a huge burden on Tampa Bay players.
“You’ll play extraordinary games, and playoff games are a little more physical, a little more everything when you play them,” said Williams, who will become NHL Network Analyst starting with Game 3. Right now, these guys are declining. Listen, they played a lot of hockey, but after you got this far in the playoffs, you’re mostly running with adrenaline right now.
“You feel very good, and as an excuse for playing more hockey, I’m sure they’re not ready to use right now.”
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Game 3 is set for Tampa, Fla on Monday night at 8pm ET.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.