Lightning try to stave off elimination

DENVER, Colo. — The Tampa Bay Lightning are down 3 games to 1 heading into a win or go home Game 5 on the road Friday night.

The Lightning have been in this situation before. They faced a 2-0 series deficit in the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers before rallying. They also were down 3-2 to Toronto in the first round.

And something else the Lightning have been able to do in these last two Stanley Cup runs is compartmentalize a game-by-game mentality.

If they don’t win Game 5, their season is over.

“We just have to go win a game,” said Tampa Bay winger Pat Maroon. “Right now our focus is Game 5. We have to go win, there’s really nothing we can do.”​

The Lightning were unhappy with how things ended in overtime on Wednesday night. Nazem Kadri, injured thumb and all, scored the winner on a shot that slipped under the right arm of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. All while it appeared Colorado had six men on the ice.

Lightning Coach Jon Cooper said though it’s a tough situation, it’s also a challenge.

“This is a game of breaks,” he said. “And often times you make them and sometimes you get them and Colorado is up in this series 3-1 because they made a lot of breaks.”

Now it’s the Lightning’s turn to go out and make their own breaks in a series that is on the verge of slipping away from the two-time defending champs.

“It (was) a tough loss, but the good news is we’re still playing hockey and we haven’t lost yet,” Maroon said. “It’s the first one to get to four wins right now and we have a little challenge in front of us but if there’s one team to do it, it’s this team.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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