TAMPA — Let the Islanders have their bagels. Maybe the Lightning coaches have found something in the pasta.
The Lightning flew back here Saturday, greeting by sun and 80-degree temperatures, with a 3-1 lead in the series against the Islanders, having swept both games at Barclays Center.
They spent six days in the rainy city, much of it at a hotel in the Battery Park City area, some of it in harsh traffic to Brooklyn and Newark where they practiced on Monday.
Last spring, in the Eastern Conference Final, head coach John Cooper’s squad nailed down a berth in the Stanley Cup Final with wins in Games 2, 5 and 7 at Madison Square Garden
Is there a secret ingredient? The Statue of Liberty view? The thrill of waking up to the morning bustle of Wall Street commuters?
Turns out that on the eve of Game 3 in Barclays this week, Cooper took his staff to a familiar Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side.
“We went there last year, small place, a really nice spot, they took care of us, and we beat the Rangers. Went there again, beat the Rangers. So, yeah, we went there again this time,” he said.