The Tampa Bay Lightning proved lightning does strike twice as they blanked the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Wednesday night to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup title.
“This group, no matter what happens from here on out, this group is going to be etched in history forever, and that’s pretty F’ing special,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “I’m so proud of the guys. You can’t soak it in yet. It’s so fresh. It’s so new. You don’t even realize what’s going to happen. We won the Stanley Cup, and we still have the Stanley Cup. That’s just amazing.”
Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 22 shots he faced, giving him an NHL record fifth consecutive shutout. The lone goal came in the second period from Ross Colton off the feed from David Savard. From there, Vasilevskiy did his part and stopped every single shot the Canadiens threw his way.
Vasilevskiy was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for his performance in the last five games of the series. Tampa Bay’s win saw them improve to a perfect 15-0 immediately following a loss over the past two postseasons.
Leading 3-0 in the series, the Canadiens won Game 4 on Monday night to extend the series another game. Last season, Tampa Bay quietly won the cup in Canada with no fans or family to celebrate with. This time, the Lightning not clinching on Monday night just may have been how the stars were meant to align.
“We had an opportunity last game in Montreal to win it, and we didn’t, and then they get some life and come in here,” Stamkos said. “But we just said, it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to win in front of our fans, it’s an opportunity to win in front of our family, and those two groups didn’t get a chance to celebrate with us last year. And that was motivation.”