Tampa Bay Lightning

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning, taking a couple seasons off after their Stanley Cup championship win in 2004, are finally back at it again and giving the people in Tampa Bay something to cheer about. Even though the Lightning are a solid team with veterans Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier and NHL top scorer Steven Stamkos, they oppose a very tough Pittsburgh team. Even though most have Pittsburgh making it through the first round of playoffs, the Lightning will not go down without a fight.

In game one of the best of seven series, it was what everyone expected in a playoff game. Pittsburgh, being the higher seed, had the first 3 games in Pittsburgh, setting the tone for the series. The Lightning came out cold as the ice they skate on, getting shut out by Pittsburgh’s goalie Fleury, giving them a 3-0 win in game one.

In game two, it was a totally different story. The Lightning ended up coming out on top, winning the game 5-1. The Lightning were able to hold the Penguins’ high powered offense to only one point and finding a rhythm in their own offense, with scores from five different players. Taking atleast one game on the road was huge and now they have tied up series to 1-1, creating less pressure for themselves and having a cushion to lean on until they get back home.

The next two game of the series,  completely killed the morale and hopes of the Lightning of moving on into the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. With the series even and games three and four at home, many people thought the Lightning would be able to steal these games away from Pittsburgh. Oh were people wrong. Not only did Tampa Bay lose game three but also four, putting them behind two games in the series, and one more lost eliminating them from the playoffs. Both teams played spectacular in both games, each score being 3-2. Even though down two games, they were both close and well fought games, giving the Lightning some hope in beating Pittsburgh and winning out.

The Lightning were able to rally back and steal the next three games away from the Penguins, making them advance to the next round. Being able to accomplish this feat has opened eyes and see Tampa Bay as a legitimate opponent. As for now the Lightning will take the wins over Pittsburgh but cannot be satisfied with their play, they must get better, the next series coming up will test their strength. The Washington Capitals will be their next opponent. With one of the league’s best players in Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals pose a threat. Even with the Capitals high powered offense, the Lightning believe as well as Ryan Silverman, a senior at East Lake High, will win the series in a dramatic fashion.