Stamkos, Lightning throttle Avs; Tampa Bay moves to East’s top eight


The Tampa Bay Lightning face problems in the short and long-term, but on nights like these, you remember why they deal with such headaches.

Tampa Bay absolutely dominated the Avalanche in Colorado on Tuesday, cruising to a 4-0 win.

Steven Stamkos collected two goals. Ben Bishop nabbed a shutout. Even Tyler Johnson found the net for the first time since Nov. 25, providing a ray of sunshine in what’s been a cloudy, injury-plagued season.

If this win wasn’t satisfying enough, get this: the Lightning crept into one of the East’s wild card positions after the New Jersey Devils lost.

There’s even talk about returning swag … again.

Granted, the situation is skin-tight, as plenty of teams make the East’s bubble situation awfully interesting.

Still, the Lightning are now on a three-game winning streak and are generally looking a lot like that team that made it to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

If they keep it up, their opponents will be the ones suffering through serious headaches.