5:01 PM PT -- The Lightning are addressing the safety precautions (or lack of) at their public Stanley Cup celebration ... telling TMZ Sports they did their best to keep players and fans safe.
"The Lightning has been proud to share the 2020 Stanley Cup win with our fans in Tampa Bay over the past two days. We have been overwhelmed by the support displayed across our community for our players and for the sacrifices they made to win the Cup at such a difficult time."
"To honor our team and the Stanley Cup’s first trip back to Tampa Bay in 16 years, we worked diligently with the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and others to create socially distant, outdoors celebrations, spread out over two miles on the Tampa Riverwalk and at a less than 20% of capacity at Raymond James Stadium."
FILE UNDER -- things you should NOT do during a pandemic!
Here's video of Tampa Bay Lightning players completely ignoring COVID-19 guidelines ... passing around the Stanley Cup to fans and allowing them to drink from it.