Tampa Bay Lightning showing their home games in Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning showing their home games in Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay Lightning have won three Stanley Cup championships in their history, in 2004, 2020, and 2021, with a fourth appearance in 2015. Jeffrey Vinik is the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Julien BriseBois is the general manager. Jon Cooper has been the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning since 2013, making him the NHL’s longest-serving active head coach.

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens with a margin of 1-0 in Game 5 at home on Wednesday, becoming the first team to repeat as champion since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Andrei Vasilevskiy was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his fifth consecutive shutout in a series-clinching game.

With the win, the Tampa Bay Lightning moved to 15-0 in the postseason after a loss in the previous two seasons, the NHL’s longest such streak. The Tampa Bay Lightning have already won 15 consecutive series since 2015. No other team has won more than nine series in that time.

The Tampa Bay Ruled the Entire Game

The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the opening period of Game 5, outshooting the Canadiens 13-8 in shots and 16-8 in controlled entries, but they couldn’t get a puck past Carey Price. However, 13:27 into the second period, rookie Ross Colton broke the tie. Defenseman David Savard, the only other player on the Tampa Bay Lightnin’s team who had not won a Stanley Cup, set up Colton on the goal.

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In September 2020, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars to win in the Edmonton bubble. The only other Stanley Cup victory for the franchise came in 200. 

No Exemptions For Celebrations

Due to pandemic limitations in Canada, the Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to celebrate last year with their families. That would have been the case again if the Tampa Bay Lightning had won Game 4 on Monday, becoming the first team to sweep the Stanley Cup Final in 23 years. The Canadian government refused to offer extra exemptions for Tampa Bay Lightning players‘ families to cross the border and avoid the federal 14-day quarantine, which the NHL had negotiated for teams in the previous two rounds.

Instead, as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor joked earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to win on home ice, celebrating in front of a sold-out crowd and with loved ones.

Pat Maroon, who won with his native St. Louis Blues in 2019, made it a personal three-peat with the Cup. Since 1983, when the 15 New York Islanders won their fourth in a row, no NHL player had won three straight Cups. Since 1964, no player has won three consecutive Cups with two different teams.

Tampa Bay Lightning Video

The Last-Minute Move

The Canadiens entered the Final as big underdogs, with the lowest points percentage (.527) of any team that qualified for the 16-team playoff field. The Montreal Canadiens did not have a lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning until Josh Anderson scored in the first period of Game 4, ending a 195:39-minute drought.

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To be salary-cap compliant after last year’s Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning were anticipated to make big roster adjustments. However, ace Nikita Kucherov had hip surgery on Dec. 29 and was out for the rest of the regular season, allowing general manager Julien BriseBois to keep his roster intact. Kucherov returned for Game 1 of the first round and went on to lead all scorers with 32 points, nine more than any other player, throughout the playoffs.

A Game Ended in Victory

Tyler Johnson, who led the Tampa Bay Lightning in scoring during their 2015 Stanley Cup Final run, was placed on waivers twice and went unclaimed both times. Johnson was a critical depth player for the Tampa Bay Lightning during their 2021 run, scoring twice in Game 3.

The last time a Stanley Cup-clinching game ended in a 1-0 victory was in 1996 when the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in triple overtime of Game 4.