It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
The Lightning were rolling. In their final regular-season game, they overcame a two-goal deficit against the Bruins to win 6-3 and tie the record for the most wins in a regular season. They entered the playoffs as the overwhelming favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Then they became an entirely new team.
Calling it a collapse would be an understatement. Calling it an embarrassment is perhaps more fitting. Regardless of how you look at it, though, the Lightning — once discussed as potentially becoming one of the greatest NHL teams ever — is out of the playoffs after just four games.
Here’s how the Tampa Bay Times and Columbus Dispatch covered the historic sweep a day later.