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NHL - US Sports: Tampa ironing out wrinkles

Captain Steven Stamkos says the Tampa Bay Lightning are beginning to iron out the wrinkles ahead of the post-season playoffs where they hope to three-peat as Stanley Cup Champions.

The Lightning, are 9/1 to be crowned champions for a third straight season in 2021/22 after beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday.

Landmark overtimer winner

32-year-old Stamkos scored the sudden death winner on the powerplay which was his 30th goal of the regular season. It was the Lightning’s third win in a row.

The dynamic Canadian also collected two assists to take his team leading points tally to 73.

Stamkos was drafted with the first overall pick by the Lightning in 2008 and since has amassed 939 points (469 goals, 470 assists) in 906 regular season games.

In the playoffs he has 73 points (30 goals, 43 assists) in 65 appearances.

The centreman has twice been awarded the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer in 2010 and 2012.

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No need for panic

With a 42-19-5 record, the Lightning are second in the Atlantic Division. They sit one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third and six points behind the Florida Panthers for first.

Stamkos said to the media: "We want to be playing good down the stretch and into the playoffs. Panic has never set in with this group.

"We're just trying to figure things out. Sometimes it takes a while. We'd rather have some of those hiccups this time of year than a month from now."

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