The Lightning have lost two straight since clinching a playoff spot last Tuesday.
"Are you saying we stumbled because we lost two in a row?" asked Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. "We've played worse during the year...But we do have much better in us."
In those two games, the Lightning were outscored 9-3, and out-hustled. Admittedly, they exhaled?
"There is a little of human nature in the there," said Cooper. "To sit here and say well, we've gotten in the playoffs and it's time to exhale a little bit."
"Yeah, it seems like it's the way it is," said Alex Killorn. "Obviously, we did kind of take a step back. Rest on our laurels a little bit in those two games."
The Lightning don't want to hit the playoffs on a losing streak. They still have time to fix it with the remaining four games of the season in the next seven days. It starts Tuesday at home against Toronto.
"It has been a long season," said Ben Bishop. "But if you can't get up for the playoffs, there is something wrong with you."
Hitting the playoffs with momentum is critical for a fast start. But once the playoff puck drops, surviving turns to a game-to-game approach.
"It's awesome," said Ryan Malone. "You get goose bumps talking about something you dream about as a kid. It's a great chance to play for the Stanley Cup. It starts with round one."
"You have to do whatever it takes to win. So it's the game within the game. Doing those little things, breaking the game down. Doing the little things well usually helps with the end result."
Right now the Lightning have put themselves in a position to start the playoffs of the road. They have one week to change that.
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