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The Southeast This Week

The Lightning's long slump was punctuated rather sharply on Saturday, as they blew a two goal lead to the Ottawa Senators, eventually losing in overtime. 

While it was a disappointing loss, and the ongoing slump is certainly getting frustrating, it's really not the end of the world.  The Lightning were 11-22-3 all time in Ottawa going into the game, and the Senators are just a team that has historically had our number. 

Also, with 10 games left before the playoffs, Guy Boucher and gang certainly have plenty of time to work the kinks out, and hone the team's game.  Add in that Ryan Malone should be returning around that time, and it becomes pretty clear that there's no need for panic. 

And let's be honest, it could always be last year.

We'll take a look at the rest of the Southeast Division after the fold. 

Atlanta Thrashers: The Thrash suffered a devastating 8-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.  As demoralizing as a blowout can be, the real devastation came to their playoff hopes.  As it stands, they sit seven points out of the final playoff spot and would have to jump four other teams, Buffalo included, to make it.  Doesn't look good.

Unrelated: There are two new potential owners.  Winnipeg rumors: "Game off."

Carolina Hurricanes: The Canes won a crucial game against Buffalo on Tuesday, exclaimed by Cam Ward's 40-save shutout.  Should Ward be in the running for the Vezina?

Florida Panthers: The Panthers knocked the smithereens out of the Maple Leafs 4-0 on Thursday and then picked up another point in an OT loss to the Islanders.  The house cleaning on deadline day seems to be paying off.

Washington Capitals: The Caps assigned former First Star of the week Braden Holtby to Hershey of the AHL.  While being a Lightning fan and knowing the 3-goalie dilemma all too well, that move puzzles me.  The kid was on fire, I would've ridden it longer.  Whatevs. 

Important matchups: Washington at Philadelphia (Tuesday, 3/22), Carolina at Tampa (Friday, 3/25), Tampa at Carolina (Saturday, 3/26).