Captain Steven Stamkos has called on the Tampa Bay Lightning to re-find their identity as they attempt to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.
The Lightning, 21/10 to win the best-of-seven series, must overcome an adversity not felt during the past two seasons if they are to win the Stanley Cup for a third season in a row, which they are 13/2 to do.
What: New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Eastern Conference Finals Game 3
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa
When: 20:00, Sunday 5th June, 2022
How to watch: Premier Sports or bet365 Live Stream
Odds: NY Rangers 6/4, TB Lightning 10/17
Tampa Bay had been 17-0 in play-off games following a loss since being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 first round, a streak snapped with a 3-2 loss in Game 2 to the Rangers on Friday.
The result followed a 6-2 defeat in Game 1, but with several strong leaders in the dressing room, Stamkos is adamant that the Lightning have what it takes to bounce back, a challenge already proven possible by their opponents.
New York trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the first round and the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in the second round before rallying to win each series.
Tampa Bay will have the advantage of playing the next two games at home where they are 4-1 in this season’s play-offs.
Stamkos said to the media: "It's been a heck of a ride in terms of responding after losses in the past couple of years, so it shows the character of this group.
"There's some of us who have been in those situations before in our careers and found a way to win a series - this is a resilient group, and we need to just get back to our identity."