The Tampa Bay Lightning is the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game Five on Wednesday night.
They are the second team to repeat in the salary cap era, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2016-2017.
Light goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky had another strong performance in rebounding after the loss with 22 saves to give the city their third title in less than a year. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in February.
Vasilevskiy was awarded the Conn Smythe Cup as the best player in the final with his fifth close. Counting the 2020 Stanley Cup title, he has scored a five-game winning streak lock-down.
The Lightning won the 2020 championship in a bubble environment in Edmonton last fall, but this time, they celebrated in front of their fans at Amalie Arena. The Lightning is the first NHL team to win a Stanley Cup title on home soil since the Chicago Blackhawks did in 2015 against Tampa Bay.
“We really wanted to take this opportunity in front of the crowd, in front of the family, and we found a way to get it done,” said defender Ryan McDonagh. “It feels great. We’ll be partying all night long.”
A look at game 5:
Striker Ross Colton and defender David Savard were not part of Lightning’s 2020.
But they reached the only goal at 13:27 of the second half.
Savard took a pass from McDonagh, skated into the right-facing circle and made a pass from the front, which Colton passed past Montreal goalkeeper Carrie Price.
It was Colton’s fourth goal in the playoffs. He moved to the second streak after Alex Killerne was injured.
Colton was in the NHL last season when the Lightning hit the run. Savard’s Columbus Blue Jackets got on deadline with some Smart maneuvering salary cap Written by Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois.
Vasilevskiy . shines
Due to Vasilevskiy’s playing, Lightning did not lose consecutive matches in two consecutive seasons. It was 7-0 last season and 7-0 this season after losing.
Lightning played a solid defense in front of him in Game 5, but fended off Montreal’s pressure before Colton’s goal.
He also stopped Montreal’s Josh Anderson and made a block for Brendan Gallagher in the third inning.
Lightning also blocked nine shots in front of Vasilevskiy. Barclay Goudreau had three of them, including a senior from Canadian captain Shea Webber in the third inning.
Maroon makes it three
Lightning forward Pat Maroon claimed his third consecutive Stanley Cup title, including a 2019 title with the St. Louis Blues.
He is the first person to win three consecutive cups with different teams since Ed Littenberger did it with Chicago in 1961 and Toronto from 1962 to 1964.
The Lightning didn’t get their day with the Stanley Cup last year due to the pandemic.
“What we’re hoping for is to have two days with the cup, days in a row, because we missed our day last year, so the NHL woke up,” Marron said.
Canadians fall short
18th-placed Price carried the Canadian to the final and had a strong performance for the second time in a row on Wednesday night with 29 saves.
But he partly blamed himself for the loss on the championship round with a 4.39 to-average and 0.835 save percentage as the Canadians fell 3-0 in the series.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think I played well enough at the start of the series,” he said.
Webber quickly interjected: “I don’t think that’s the case at all, to be honest with you. I don’t think we were good enough against Curry. Give them credit. They’re a team. They were here for a reason, and they were better than us in the end.”