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NHL - US Sports: Cooper promises no let-up from Lightning

After confirming their opportunity to defend the Stanley Cup in the playoffs, coach Jon Cooper says the Tampa Bay Lightning won't rest on their past success.

The Lightning have been crowned Stanley Cup Champions in each of the past two seasons and are 10/1 to three-peat in 2021/22.

Play-off place secured

Tampa Bay clinched their place in the post-season with a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. It was the eighth time in nine seasons that they have qualified for the playoffs.

With a 45-21-8 record, the Lightning are four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division with 98 points.

No team has played more hockey than the Lightning over the past several years, but 54-year-old Cooper says the desire to win never fades for the team for which he is in a tenth season of coaching.

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Cooper is the longest tenured coach in the NHL, and no team has recorded more wins since he took charge in March 2013.

In October 2021, the Canadian signed a new three-year extension to remain with the franchise.

Always pushing

Cooper commented to the media on qualifying for the playoffs: "You take pride in that, there's no doubt, because this is a tough league to win it.

"A ton of credit goes to the players, because it's hard. ... You know we've won a couple of Cups and there's ample opportunity for guys to take a breath and say 'ok', but they haven't, and they keep pushing forward and doing it in different ways."

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