Posted April 29, 2013 on AP on Fox
Martin St. Louis had a remarkable year, leading the NHL in scoring at age 37. Still, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward would give up it all up to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Tampa Bay failed to make the postseason for the second straight season despite having the league's top two scorers in St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. ''The summer's long when you don't make the playoffs,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. ''We're about to experience that and it's not a great feeling.'' St. Louis finished with 60 points, becoming the oldest Art Ross Trophy winner. He also captured the scoring title in 2004, when Tampa Bay won its only Stanley Cup championship. Stamkos wound up second in the points race with 57. ''I'd trade a lot of that to be in the playoffs and have a chance at the Stanley Cup,'' St. Louis said. ''But then when all that kind of goes away, the hope of getting in, you try to finish strong and play the right way.'' With postseason hopes fading quickly after a 6-1 start, the Lightning (18-26-4) fired coach Guy Boucher in late March and brought in Cooper, the coach of the organization's top minor league team at Syracuse of the American Hockey League. ''It's one of those situations where I'm going to sit back and reflect on the day to day basis what went on,'' Cooper said. ''It's just been a whirlwind. Something new pops up every day. So, I'm just glad that I've been able to experience it now than in September. It's not going to be new to me anymore.'' Tampa Bay finished up next to last in the Eastern Conference and fourth in a weak Southeast Division, which only sent one team - division-winning Washington - into the postseason. Too many bad turnovers, a shaky defense and inconsistent goaltending doomed the Lightning, which scored 148 goals, while allowing 150. The team struggled in close games, going went 8-23-4 in contests decided by two or less goals. ''We've got to learn to put games away,'' Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier said. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman has decided to move forward with two promising, but inexperienced goalies, Ben Bishop, acquired in an Apr. 3 trade with Ottawa, and Anders Lindback, obtained from Nashville last offseason. The duo have played in a combined 107 NHL games. ''Winning is contagious,'' Cooper said. ''When you start doing it, you want more of it. It's s process. It doesn't happen overnight.'' The NHL's new realignment plan, set to begin next season, will provide an additional playoff hurdle for the Lightning, who are moving into a new eight team division that includes 2013 playoff teams Boston, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. ''We had two of the top scorers in the league, and we're not making the playoffs,'' Cooper said. ''That's where, somewhere, at some point we've got turn that into winning hockey games. There's no question that with the players we have we can create that.''

Lightning lose their final game of the season

The final game of the Lightning season played out just like how the entire season has. An inconsistent game played on both ends of the ice resulted in a 5-3 loss to the Panthers.  The NHL points leader Martin St. Louis broke a 2-2 tie in the second when his wrist shot from the side of the crease to make it 3-2. But two third period goals by Florida put the Bolts down 4-3 before...

Michael Stuart: Martin St. Louis Clinches Art Ross Trophy

Twenty years of thunder are in the books, as your Tampa Bay Lightning have wrapped up their 2013 National Hockey League season. While the Lightning disappointed fans by not making the post-season, one player did his part for the team and was anything but second-rate. After tallying 60 points in 48 games this season, Martin St. Louis has clinched the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to...

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St. Louis' scoring title dulled by frustrating season

TAMPA, Fla. This season has long been lost for the Tampa Bay Lightning, from a strong start (6-1) wasted in February, to a coaching change (Guy Boucher to Jon Cooper) in March to an end Saturday night that signifies how much of a contradiction these 48 games became. Fourteen-year veteran winger Martin St. Louis, who finished with 60 points after a goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss...

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The Art Ross, Richard and Jennings Trophy Winners

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History! Marty oldest to win point title

Martin St. Louis made history. The 37-year old Lightning center became the oldest player to win the league scoring title, finishing with a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay's 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in the season finale for two non-playoff teams on Saturday night. St. Louis won the Art Ross Trophy with 60 points, three more than teammate Steven Stamkos. ''I...

Blues win to take home advantage in playoffs

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Panthers 5, Lightning 3

Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for the Lightning to win the league scoring title in Tampa Bay's 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in the season finale for two non-playoff teams on Saturday night. The 37-year old St. Louis finished the year with 60 points, making him the oldest player in league history to win the Art Ross Trophy. Tomas Fleischmann scored his second...

Panthers top Lightning in season finale for both teams

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- NHL points leader Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in the season finale for two non-playoff teams on Saturday night. St. Louis finished the year with 60 points, giving him the league lead pending the outcome of later games. Tomas Fleischmann scored his second goal of the game to give...
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