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Lightning eye playoff return in shortened season

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:55 pm | Updated: 8:02 pm, Thu Jan 17, 2013.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Steven Stamkos knows reaching 60-goals again will be unlikely in this year's abbreviated 48-game season.

But the Tampa Bay center feels the Lightning returning to the playoffs is well within reach in the lockout-curtailed campaign.

Stamkos had an NHL-best 60 goals when the Lightning, one year removed from reaching the Eastern Conference finals, missed out on postseason play last season.

Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, holdovers from Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, provide a solid nucleus. Newcomers include goalie Anders Lindback, and defensemen Sami Salo and Matt Carle.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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