Lightning return to ice, await 2nd round opponent

- Steven Stamkos is one who will be keeping a watchful eye on the series finale between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. 

"Hopefully they beat each other up a little bit and then we'll see what we got," the Lightning captain said with a smile. 

The Bolts took the ice Tuesday morning for the first time since their Game 5 win over the Devils Saturday, which sealed their spot in the 2nd round. The Lightning thought they might be opening up their 2nd series Wednesday night. Instead, they're focusing on themselves and getting back to the basics, with their next opponent still to be decided. 

"I think it's good for us to get away a little bit, rest our minds and our bodies, and get back at it," said defenseman Victor Hedman. "Any rest day you can get in the playoffs is a good day. But, obviously, we're itching to get back out there and play again." 

Tuesday evening, the possible scenarios were presented. Either way, the Bolts' first Round 2 game will be Saturday.

If the Bolts play Boston, Game 1 will be Saturday at 3 p.m. If the Bolts play Toronto, Game 1 will be Saturday at 8 p.m.

Players reiterated how all of the extra time off is better than no time at all during this time of year. That's why the Lightning will be the envy of whoever they play next.

The Leafs and Bruins wrap up their series with Game 7 tomorrow night, while the Bolts have been waiting and watching since the weekend. 

"You get that little extra time off, it's a good thing," said head coach, Jon Cooper. "The one thing is, you can't have too much off because the competition and the atmosphere and the adrenaline is so high in these games, you don't want to step completely out of it." 

The players agree. And team owner, Jeff Vinik, at the groundbreaking of Tampa's new Marriott hotel this morning, didn't step out of character either. 

"I'm enjoying today. I'm also enjoying today because the Bruins and the Maple Leafs are going to Game 7 tomorrow, and I hope they go into four overtimes and beat the crap out of each other!" Vinik said.  

The Lightning will have a leg up next series. It's not just all that time off, either. No matter who wins that game, they will have to travel for two games at Amalie Arena to start the series.

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