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2011 NHL Playoffs: Tampa Bay Lightning To The Playoffs

It's been a rough couple of years, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are back in the NHL playoffs. After beating the Penguins last Thursday night, the Lightning clinched their first playoff berth in four seasons.

The last time the Lightning made it to the playoffs was in 2007, when the Bolts went 44-33-5 for 93 points and came in second in the Southeast Division behind the Atlanta Thrashers. This season, despite their slide during the month of March, the Bolts have been even better, going 44-24-11 for 99 points. They're currently in second place in the Southeast Division, and are only one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning will likely be facing the Penguins in the first round, but their postseason schedule depends upon the two teams finish the season. If the Lightning beat out the Penguins for the #4 seed, they'll have home ice advantage in the first round.

For more information on the Lightning and the playoffs, check out Raw Charge.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.