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Tampa Bay Lightning was blown up by the Colorado Avalanche on the road in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday and veteran Stephen Stamkos had a message for his team after the defeat.
Stamkos told his Lightning teammates after the 7-0 blast to pull themselves up and put their heads back into the chain.
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“That was absolutely not acceptable, especially at this time of year,” Stamkos said of the loss via The Athletic. “Listen, people are going to watch this match tonight and they might think the series is over. But our group, we’re a very flexible group.
“So whether it’s nothing or nothing or nothing or nothing, this is a playoff loss and you have to move on. We have to have a team spirit as a team and as a person. Let’s go home in front of our fans, and let’s see what we’ve made.”
The Lightning has been in heavy fights throughout the post season.
Avalanche light the way 7-0 to advance 2-0 in the cup final
Tampa Bay fought against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, and swept the Presidents Cup winner, the Florida Panthers, in the second round and came back from 0-2 from behind to defeat the New York Rangers in the conference final. Not only that, Lightning has played 67 pre-season games since August 1, 2020 – the most by a single team over a three-game playoff.
It’s something that can weigh on Tampa Bay players, said former NHL star Justin Williams.
“As of now, these guys are fading. Listen, they’ve played a lot of hockey, but once you get that far in the playoffs, you’re mostly running on adrenaline now,” said Williams, who will become an NHL network analyst starting in Game 3.
“You feel good, and the excuse to play so much hockey is that I’m sure they’re not ready to use it right now.”
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Game 3 is set Monday night at 8 p.m. ET in Tampa, Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.