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Quick Strikes: Anton Stralman says some wins this season have been ‘deceiving’

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Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

In a must-win game, the Lightning lost Saturday to the Capitals, dropping their second game in a row. [Tampa Bay Times]

Alex Killorn, who scored his first goal in 16 games aka “about time,” said the team came out flat in the third period and hinted at fatigue. Bryan Burns writes: “That seems inexcusable for a team fighting to get into the playoffs, but the fact is, the Lightning were playing their fifth game in eight days, playing against the best team in the NHL and doing so with almost half of their forward lines made up of guys that would probably be in the AHL if the Bolts had all their players healthy.” [NHL.com/Lightning]

An 82-game NHL season is mentally draining. Hear it from Jon Cooper himself.

Before Saturday’s loss, Anton Stralman spoke to USA Today about the season, saying the Lightning were “underachieving for a very long time. Even when we won a game, I was never really happy with the way we won them. It was deceiving. Maybe we thought we had played well but I didn’t think so.” So, who’s responsible for that? [USA Today]

Former Bolt Brett Connolly told his coach Barry Trotz that he broke into the league too soon with the Lightning as the No. 6 overall pick. After bouncing around though, he’s found a home in Washington. [Tampa Bay Times]

TJ Hat Trick said the Capitals approach every game like a must-win. Trotz told them to win Saturday, and so they did. [Washington Post]

Pt Sjk ws t the Lightning gme lst night. I didn’t have enough $ to buy a vowel. Sorry guys.

The Lightning are trying to make the playoffs so Steven Stamkos can play. Killorn with the duh, obvs, of the year: “Certain things he does on the ice, you can tell this team is going to be a lot better with him.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The Crunch

Matthew Peca scored two goals in the third period, and Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 41 saves to lead the Syracuse Crunch to a 2-1 overtime win over Albany. With the win, the Crunch remain on top of their division and improve to 21-6-5 on the season. [Syracuse.com]

It’s not official until there’s a pic, right?

The League

Evgeni Malkin’s shot-blocking abilities proves costly: His dive to block a shot during Monday’s game has led to a shoulder injury. [Tribune-Review]

That California rivalry!

The Ducks did respond both on Twitter and on the ice, winning 2-1.

NHL players have the right to enjoy days off. [The Score]

How much is free-agent-to-be Ryan Johansen worth to the Predators? [FanRag Sports]

The Game

U.S. women’s hockey remains optimistic despite response to boycott. [Sports Illustrated]

Congrats to Penn State University, which won the Big Ten Tournament in dramatic fashion — double overtime — and sealed a berth into the NCAA Tournament. [Daily Collegian]