Despite the return of captain Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning could not get it done versus the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bolts fell 2-1 to the Pens to end their season just shy of the Stanley Cup Final. Had the Lightning won, it would have been the second year in a row they would have played in the Finals.
— #GoBolts (@TBLightning) May 27, 2016
Stamkos made his return to the ice Thursday night after missing about two months following surgery to remove a blood clot. Despite the return of the player who led the team in goals during the regular season, the Lightning did not have enough offensive power to match the Penguins’ offensive power during the game. The Penguins outshot the Bolts 39 to 17.
Both of Pittsburgh’s goals were scored by right winger Bryan Rust. The Lightning’s lone goal was scored by left winger Jonathan Drouin. All goals were scored in the second period.
For the Penguins, they move on to face the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final. Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby said they are excited to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That moment when *you're* going to the Stanley Cup Final… https://t.co/AECtu8mfsM
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 27, 2016
For the Lightning, now comes the off-season, and the focus shifts to whether Stamkos will re-sign with the team. Stamkos becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.