TAMPA, FL (WFLA/AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning players are officially back home after a nail-biting win Sunday in Pittsburgh. They landed at 1:30 p.m. at the Tampa Jet Center. A crowd of fans waited to cheer them on.
Fans say they’re ready for the Bolts to take this series.They lined the street waving signs and cheering on the players.
The Lightning will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Amalie Arena Tuesday at 8 p.m. for Game 6.
The Bolts had an answer for everything while getting within one victory of their second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The Lightning erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 before beating the Penguins 4-3 in Pittsburgh on Jason Garrison’s goal 53 seconds into overtime. Garrison’s second overtime goal of the postseason puts Tampa Bay ahead three games to two in the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals. Garrison was the hero after Nikita Kucherov notched his second goal of the game, beating Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game with 3:16 left in regulation. Kucherov also tallied in the second period, 70 seconds after Alex Killorn got the Lightning within 2-1.
Garrison stepped off the airplane and was immediately surrounded by local media and fans asking questions about that last goal.
News Channel 8 talked with the fans Monday.
“I actually had to walk out and walk around the block,” Steve Gross said. “I could not sit still and watch the second period. I have no idea what happened in the second period, until this morning. I watched the game again this morning; I taped it. But I was such a nervous wreck.”
“We don’t want to go back to Pittsburgh. We want to send Pittsburgh fans back to Pittsburgh. Get a nice day or two of rest and wait for whoever comes next,” Gross added.
Cookie Gross told us why she loves the Bolts.
“They never give up. They never say die. Like, ‘Oh dear, we’re down two, we’re going to lose.’ They know how good they are. They know they are resilient and they came back. We, all of us here, are the thunder and we are here for them,” she said.