When the Tampa Bay Lightning started to string some wins together, it felt like “too little, too late.” Some trade deadline selling only solidified such thoughts.
A team with high expectations refused to throw the season away, however, and now a playoff run goes from a lofty dream to a pretty reasonable thought.
Now, it’s worth noting that the Lightning will finish the night outside of the East’s top eight. Still, they’re now a breath away, trailing the current second East wild card Toronto by one standings point.
(The Islanders got crushed by Carolina in an 8-4 stunner on Monday. Read more about that here.)
In the case of Monday, Brayden Point earned himself quite the 21st birthday gift with two goals. That included the 3-2 game-winner as the Lightning beat the Rangers despite New York’s 28-16 shots on goal advantage.
This marks three straight wins for the Lightning, who’ve been on quite the tear from multiple perspectives.
Now, does this mean they’ll be able to grind their way to the finish line? Not necessarily, but the gap is small enough that they have an almost-even chance to make it.
Who would have thought as much even a couple weeks ago?
Now, it wasn’t all good news for the Lightning, as Vladislav Namestnikov aggravated a previous injury: