The Tampa Bay Lightning just don’t like to lose. It might sound cliché, but it’s the truth. Just ask any of the teams that have beaten them in the playoffs over the past two seasons. After a defeat, the Lightning is 15-0, and that has led them to their second straight Stanley Cup Final victory. They clinched that second consecutive win on Wednesday night, on home ice as many wanted, by downing the Montreal Canadiens 0-1 in a tight and tense affair.
The goal came courtesy of Ross Colton in the second period at a time when the Canadiens were pushing hard and seemingly going to be the ones that got on the board first. Andrei Vasilevskiy their goaltender that made 22 saves in this particular performance, was named MVP of the playoffs for his exploits. It was his fifth shutout in a row in a game that was a clincher, so the award most definitely deserves to go to him. Tampa became the first team since the 16-17 Pittsburgh Penguins to lift the trophy twice in a row, and they are also only the second repeat winner since 1998. Nikita Kucherov finished the postseason run by contributing 32 total points while Brayden Point scored 14 goals in three rounds of action. Both dealt with injuries throughout as well. It is Tampa’s third Stanley Cup title, with the other coming back in 2004. Montreal’s loss meant they were denied the first title in 25 years, but it’s not altogether unexpected as a deep playoff run was considered a surprise to most fans and pundits alike.