The Tampa Bay Lightning are just one game away from a sweep after easily defeating the Montreal Canadiens 6-3 in the Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens had home ice advantage, but always appeared a few steps behind the defending champions in the loss.
The Lightning now lead the series 3-0 and have the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup with a Game 4 win, which will take place Monday, July 5 at Bell Centre.
The entire series the Lightning have looked more prepared for the matchup and tonight was no different. Tampa Bay came out strong with two goals in the first period and would never trail in the game.
It was a group effort from the Lightning, with four different goal scorers. Jan Rutta started things off with an early goal, followed by another first period goal from Victor Hedman. Tyler Johnson then scored two to extend the team's lead, with the final goal coming from Blake Coleman in an empty net in the third period.
On the Canadiens side, it was Phillip Danault who got the puck in the net first, followed by a goal from Nick Suzuki and the final goal from Corey Perry.
Montreal lead with shots on goal, recording 35 compared to Tampa Bay's 30, but were not as efficient on offense to keep up with last year's champs. Despite generating offensive chances, the Canadiens struggled taking care of the puck with 26 giveaways compared to just 14 for the Lightning.
A major story heading into the game was the return of Montreal head coach Dominique Ducharme, who was back after being isolation for 14 days following a positive COVID-19 test.
Montreal is looking for its first Stanley Cup title since 1993, but the underdogs chances don't look good after going down three games in the series 197 times in NHL history a best-of-seven series has seen a team go down 3-0 and only four times has a team come back to win.
Between the championship triumphs of the Lightning and the Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay area has seemingly entered a new golden age for their sports teams. And yet again, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a good chance to stand above the rest of the National Hockey League and hoist the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row.