TAMPA, Fla. — In a year Lightning fans hope to remember forever for a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship, the final home game of the regular season was one to forget.
The Dallas Stars took control with a Jamie Oleskiak goal in the first period, giving them a lead they would never relinquish in the last game Amalie Arena would host before the playoffs begin.
Blake Coleman got the Lightning on the board in the second, getting them within one goal of the Stars. However, Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz piled on, and Tampa Bay left the ice after the second period down 4-1.
The Lightning ultimately fell 5-2. The team ends the season with a 36-17-3 record.
But, a new season is just about underway. The NHL Playoffs.
The playoff picture is almost set in stone, and the Lightning will play the Florida Panthers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
According to 10 Tampa Bay's Grace Remington, it will be the first time the two Sunshine State teams will play each other in the playoffs ever. With two regular season games left, they could possibly play nine games in a row if the playoff series goes to seven, she noted.
It will be a meaningful series, too, as both teams are fighting for home-ice advantage in the first round.
The Lightning will have their opportunity for back-to-back championships as they skate into the playoffs yet again.
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