TAMPA, Fla. -- The Lightning are back home after striking twice in Washington, D.C. Their on the road back-to-back wins forced Game 5. Their wins trickle down past the ice rink.
When the Bolts win on the rink, so do Tampa business owners. Downtown Tampa bars and restaurants are packed with fans crowded around televisions.
As men dressed in blue advance in the playoffs, the green keeps dropping in cash registers.
“The Bolts have been nothing but a blessing for us here at American Social," said Adam Perhosky, Director of Marketing & Events at the bar.
The business has only been in Tampa for a year now, but Perhosky says Lightning fever runs ultra-hot in this town. Game days means no worker has the day off. Plus, they have to order in more food and drinks to keep their pantry fully stocked.
“If there’s a lightning game that day we’ll see anywhere from a 15% to 25% increase," Perhosky said of the crowds.
Some fans were worried a game five wouldn’t come to pass after back-to-back crushing losses at home to open the Eastern Conference Finals.
“I was shaken a little bit, I was nervous," said fan Ricky Mcewen.
“You know when you go down two nothing at home it’s kind of scary," said Perhosky
Fans at another downtown bar said they would still be at the bars if the Lightning were eliminated, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as packed.
“Absolutely! The longer the season goes on the more drinks are selling. That’s how it goes." said Mcewen.
And while the rough start to the series came as a bit of a shock, they arere sure the Bolts will take it all the way.
"This is all part of the plan," said fan Joey Brandes, "I knew the caps would go up 2-0 initially and choke. That’s what they always do.”
Only time will tell if the Lightning can keep the momentum going. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. on Monday for Game 6.