Lightning center Brayden Point (21), pictured during a game against the Dallas Stars in April in Tampa, left Saturday's practice abruptly after clearly displaying some frustration.
Coach Jon Cooper says there should be “no alarm bells” after Tampa Bay’s leading scorer departs practice abruptly.
Hundreds of fans lined up in cars around WestShore Plaza to kick off the postseason.
John Romano | The goaltender bailed out the Lightning during the regular season and could be the difference in the postseason.
After three decades of forced buzz, the Sunshine State series finally looks to have some teeth to it.


  1. Lightning center Brayden Point (21), pictured during a game against the Dallas Stars in April in Tampa, left Saturday's practice abruptly after clearly displaying some frustration.
  2. Lightning fan Ralph Parr, 27, of Tampa, waves a flag from his window during a drive-thru pep rally ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday at WestShore Plaza in Tampa.
  3. Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) is congratulated by left wing Ryan Lomberg (94) and center Aleksi Heponiemi (20) after scoring a goal during a game against the Lightning Monday in Sunrise. The Panthers won 4-0.
  4. Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his goaltender: “(Andrei) Vasilevskiy grows every year he plays in the league. He came in as a physical, athletic specimen; everything you want in a goaltender, he possesses it."
  5. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) beats Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) to score the winning goal in overtime in Tampa Bay's 3-2 win April 15 at Amalie Arena.
  6. Hugh Jones, Connor Pelesh, and Collen Moorehead, all 18, of Tampa celebrate a goal at the Cigar City Brewing unofficial Lightning watch party in September outside Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  7. Lightning goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy, right, and Curtis McElhinney, left, are pictured on the ice during during practice Thursday in Brandon.
  8. Nikita Kucherov is expected to return for the Lightning’s first-round playoff opener Sunday against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise.
  9. If the Lightning make history and become the second team in the salary-cap era to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, it will be because of Andrei Vasilevskiy.
  10. The Florida Panthers' Owen Tippett and Lightning's Mikhail Sergachev collide in the third period of Saturday's game at BB&T Center in Sunrise.
  11. Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johansson gets a congratulatory hug after a win against the Kings clinches the President's Cup.
  12. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is back on the ice during Thursday practice in preparation for the start of the playoffs.
  13. Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn, left, passes the puck as Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg, right, defends during the second period of May 10 game in Sunrise. The teams meet again on Sunday in the playoffs.
  14. Panthers center Aleksander Barkov beats Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney with Jan Rutta defending during the second period of a Feb. 15 game at Amalie Arena.
  15. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has not been the same player since going into the boards against Columbus on March 30 and needing help to get off the ice.
  16. Defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and the Lightning will face the cross-state Florida Panthers in the opening round of the NHL playoffs.
  17. Lightning players Gemel Smith, Daniel Walcott and Mathieu Joseph made up what is believed to be the first starting forward line made up entirely of Black players when they started Monday's road game against the Florida Panthers.
  18. Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (83) reacts after scoring a goal against Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the second period.
  19. Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow and the Panthers' Brandon Montour were in the middle of a lot of pushing and shoving in Saturday's game. Both players are out for tonight's regular-season finale.
  20. Lightning center Steven Stamkos is this year’s Lightning nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded each season to a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game.
  21. The Lightning's Pat Maroon fights with the Panthers' Brandon Montour in the third period Saturday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
  22. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn loses his helmet during a brawl with Florida Panthers left wing Ryan Lomberg during the second period Saturday night in Sunrise.
  23. While at Columbus, John Tortorella led the Blue Jackets to four straight playoff appearances after the team qualified for the postseason just twice in its first 15 seasons.