The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it. After a recent stretch of disappointing playoff exits, Tampa Bay topped the Dallas Stars, 2-0, in Game 6 and are your 2020 Stanley Cup champions. It is the second Stanley Cup for the Lightning, who also won it all in 2004. Tampa Bay was led by a suffocating offensive attack, and in Game 6 received goals from Blake Coleman and Brayden Point.
The Lightning kept the pressure on the Stars throughout the game. In the opening period, Point continued his stellar postseason as he scored his fifth goal of the Stanley Cup Final. After Stars defenseman John Klingberg was sent off on a tripping penalty, Point ripped a shot from the slot that goalie Anton Khudobin stopped. However, Point pursued his own rebound and snapped the shot past Khudobin to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.
With 12:47 remaining in the second period, veteran forward Patrick Maroon knocked the puck out of the air while he was hopping on the ice on a line change. Maroon passed the puck to Cedric Paquette in the Dallas zone, Paquette hit Coleman with a picture-perfect pass and Coleman ripped the one-timer past Khudobin. Coleman's goal was his fifth of the playoffs and the first of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Lightning ended up outshooting the Stars 29-22 in Game 6, which really was the difference. Tampa Bay simply lived in the offensive zone. Check below for takeaways, as well as a running recap and highlights of the game.
Dallas lost the special-teams battle ... again
The Stars certainly had plenty of opportunities to put the puck in the net in Game 6, but they just couldn't get it done. Dallas had three power plays in Game 6. In all three, and throughout the night, they failed to overpower Andrei Vasilevskiy. On the flip side, the Lightning also had three opportunities on the man-advantage. The difference is that they were able to break through. Brayden Point scored a power play goal in the opening period.
Stars got suffocated by Lightning defense
Even when the teams were at even strength, the Lightning defense continuously got the better of the Stars. In the four wins during the Stanley Cup Finals, Tampa Bay had Dallas flustered and only allowed eight goals in four games. The Stars did score four goals in a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 4, but they were also completely shut out by Vasilevskiy. While the Stars did end up registering 22 shots in Game 6, the Lightning had possession of the puck 73.5 percent of the time through the first two periods.
Lightning's top line dominates
Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat were tremendous throughout the Stanley Cup Finals for Tampa. Point registered eight points and potted five goals to pace the powerful Tampa Bay offense. While Kucherov wasn't as involved in the scoring department, the star winger registered eight points as well, which included seven assists. Palat was certainly no slouch either, with five points -- including a goal and an assist in Game 4.
Tampa had several Conn Smythe candidates
With a team as deep as the Lightning, the Conn Smythe Trophy could've gone to a few very deserving candidates. Victor Hedman winning certainly wasn't a huge surprise and the Swedish defenseman showed his worth on many occasions down the stretch. The former No. 2 pick registered 21 points throughout the playoffs on his way to taking home the trophy
Brayden Point also had quite the case, as he was the ultimate spark plug for Tampa Bay. In games that Point scored a goal, the Lightning accumulated an 11-0 record. In addition, Point set a Lightning playoff record with 14 goals throughout the postseason.
Kucherov also has a right to be in the conversation, considering that he recorded eight points (one goal and seven assists). While he wasn't as top heavy in terms of goals, the Lightning aren't hoisting the Stanley Cup without Kucherov's offensive prowess. But ultimately, all three of them are main reason Tampa is the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion.