After lengthy layoff, Lightning getting ready for East final

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Extra than a week off concerning playoff games can seem to be like an eternity for any crew.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping the extended crack they attained with a second-round sweep of the Florida Panthers will advantage them in their quest for a a few-peat.

By the time they open up the Jap Convention closing Wednesday evening versus both the Carolina Hurricanes or New York Rangers, the Lightning will not have performed since May well 23.

The Hurricanes and Rangers enjoy Game 7 of their next-spherical collection Monday night, with the winner web hosting the to start with two games of the conference closing.

“People generally inquire is it improved to have time off or not,” coach Jon Cooper said. “I guess the real respond to will come relying on the future collection, and how you play.”

The defending champs, in the East remaining for the sixth time in 8 several years, experience they have the management and encounter to manage the team’s longest layoff between postseason games in a lot more than a decade.

“You’re not really anticipating this substantially time off at this time of yr. You glimpse at the positives,” captain Steven Stamkos claimed. “Guys can get some relaxation and recuperate and ideally get as nutritious as we can in advance of we begin the future spherical.”

The Lightning have gained six straight game titles, moving from the brink of elimination from Toronto in the very first spherical to a further appearance in the conference remaining.

Much more than a week off invitations the prospect of players slipping out of synch since of an interruption to the team’s regular plan.

Cooper, nevertheless, pressured that irrespective of what occurs, the Lightning wanted time to rest and make it possible for wounded gamers a probability to get much healthier.

Tampa Bay Lightning remaining wing Pat Maroon (14) celebrates his intention in opposition to the Florida Panthers through the 3rd period in Sport 4 of an NHL hockey next-round playoff series Monday, Could 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

“We’ve absent by way of a few of wars right here in our series, so it’s pivotal for us to have this break now,” Cooper mentioned.

“The draw back of it is no make any difference what you do in apply, you’re not at any time heading to occur near to emulating what goes on in a playoff match. So, you get rid of that,” Cooper extra. “You just hope really don’t eliminate your edge. We have bought enough of a veteran group, we need to be in a position to get through that.”

This hiatus is the longest the Lightning have experienced between playoff sequence considering that they obtained nine times off next a second-round sweep of the Washington Capitals in 2011.

That time, Tampa Bay wound up getting rid of the future sequence to Boston in 7 game titles.

“We’re experienced plenty of to know what to expect arrive (Wednesday). We’re energized about that option,” defenseman Victor Hedman reported. “We are prepared to get back again into the sport action, obviously, but you are not likely to say no if you get a pair of extra times off for getting won 4 straight (in opposition to Florida).”

Likely back to the get started of the 2020 postseason, Tampa Bay has received 10 consecutive playoff sequence. In addition to chasing a third consecutive excursion to the Stanley Cup Remaining, they are attempting to develop into the initially workforce to win a few straight titles considering the fact that the New York Islanders won 4 in a row from 1980-83.

“We know what it will take, we know how tricky it is to get the place we are correct now,” claimed ahead Pat Maroon, who received the Cup with St. Louis in 2019 ahead of joining the Lightning for their championship run two decades in the past.

“No subject who we’re likely to enjoy,” Maroon additional, searching ahead to facing the Hurricanes or Rangers future, “they’re both genuinely great teams.”


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By Harriet