‘Two steps forward, one step back’ for Lightning after loss to Flames

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While one Florida-based NHL team remains the hottest team in the league, the second is approaching the midway mark of its schedule searching for answers and sitting on the outside of the playoff picture.

The Florida Panthers are winners of 10 in a row. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference representative in last year’s Stanley Cup Final, lost to the Calgary Flames by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday and is currently two points back of the Boston Bruins for the final Wild Card spot.

Steven Stamkos scored to cut Calgary’s lead in half early in the third period, but Tampa Bay couldn’t beat Karri Ramo for the tying goal.

Ramo stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.

As far as the Lightning is concerned, controversy has leaked into the headlines this season, whether it’s the Stamkos contract situation and trade rumors, or Jonathan Drouin’s now public trade request (read about it here and here and here), or underachieving in the standings.

On the verge of Game 41 of the season, which comes against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, Tampa Bay have three teams ahead of them — Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Boston — in the East standings.

“Lately, we feel like we’re playing well,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, as per the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s two steps forward and one step back. We need to go on a run.”

Related:

Stamkos wants Bolts to be ‘pissed off with the situation that we are in’