Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup trophy for the second time in a row. The franchise from Florida defeated Montreal Canadiens in the finals, after five games.
The Lightning secured the title following a 1-0 win in tonight’s match at Amalie Arena. Ross Colton was the scorer of the only goal in this event, which eventually brought the third overall Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay in the team’s history.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lingtning’s goalie, had 22 saves, posting his fifth shutout in this year’s playoffs, which eventually earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the postseason MVP. Even though this team has fantastic individuals in the field, Vasilevskiy was the one who made the difference, as he played at the highest possible level in the moments when the game was on the line.
The Russian is the first goalie since 2012 to win this honor. The previous one was Jonathan Quick, who led the LA Kings to a win over the New Jersey Devils in the finals.
Vasilevskiy was excellent tonight, and so saw his counterpart on the other side, Carey Price, apart from that one situation in which Colton managed to hit the back of the net. David Savard posted an assist, with a pass to Colton, who would only tap the puck towards the goal at 13:27 of the second.
It was the only goal of the game.
The Canadiens reached the finals for the first time since 1993. Back then, the Habs won the Stanley Cup beating LA Kings, and that was, in fact, the last time one Canadian team managed to lift the title. Since 2011, and the Vancouver Canucks, we haven’t seen any teams from Canada in the finals.
Tampa Bay is only the ninth team in the NHL history to defend the title and the first one since the 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins, who also won back-to-back titles, beating the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators.
Two years ago, the Lightning was the biggest favorite to win the Stanely Cup, but they would suffer a massive setback in the first round of the playoffs, losing to Columbus Blue Jackets in four matches. At the time, many believed that the team would fall apart, yet that didn’t happen.
Instead, the Lightning went on to win two titles and establish one of the best generation in the history of the league.