Playing at home isn’t a big advantage for Bolts

by Gary Shelton on December 31, 2015 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Cooper reacts during the Stralman goal review./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Cooper reacts during the Stralman goal review./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Thursday, 12:15 a.m.

Once, it was the biggest strength of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It was passionate, and it was friendly, and it felt like home. It was Amalie Arena, and teams hated to visit here. If it were any more cushy, teams would take towels home as souvenirs.

These days? Amalie is a funhouse, and the Lightning are extremely friendly hosts.

The Lightning fell once again Wednesday night, losing 5-2 to a New York Rangers team that had lost eight in a row on the road. The defeat left Tampa Bay at 18-16-4, in 10th place in the East and three points out of the playoffs.

It also lowered the Bolts' home record to 9-8-2, equalling as many losses as all of last season.

“This has been a really tough place for teams to play,” said

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