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Defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning Back in East Finals

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) sprays water on his face during a timeout against the Florida Panthers during the third period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) sprays water on his face during a timeout against the Florida Panthers during the third period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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Tampa, Fla. (AP) -- Jon Cooper had every reason to be confident the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning could keep their bid for a three-peat alive.

“Our story is not finished being written,” the coach said earlier this month with his team on the brink of elimination in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “We've got a lot left in us, we feel.”