Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cup, beat Montreal Canadiens in five games to claim back-to-back championships
The Lightning are the first team to go back-to-back since the Penguins in 2016 and 2017
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup. It marks the third time in franchise history that the Lightning have won the Stanley Cup as they also won it all in 2004 and 2020.
In addition, the Lightning became the ninth franchise in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Tampa Bay's Game 5 win also marked the 15th consecutive playoff game in which they followed up a loss with a win.
"It's amazing. This group has been through so much together," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told Sportsnet after the game. "To do this in front of our fans and family, we didn't get a chance to do that last year. That was huge motivation for this group: to win it again. To do it again, it's validation into history. This group accomplished something that not a lot of people thought could happen."
Rookie forward Ross Colton scored the only goal of the contest in the second period. Lightning defenseman David Savard, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, put a picture-perfect pass right on Colton's stick for the easy tally. It marked Colton's fourth goal of the postseason -- and first of the Stanley Cup Final -- and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was the big story throughout Game 5 as he stopped all 22 shots that he faced. Vasilevskiy was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the MVP of the playoffs. Vasilevskiy is the first goalie to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick won it back in 2012.
Vasilevskiy recorded shutouts in all four closing games of each series throughout the NHL playoffs this season. The 26-year-old joined Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden as just the second goalie since the Expansion Era (1967-68) to play every game in net for back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.
Star forward Nikita Kucherov was also a key factor down the stretch for the Lightning. He joined Mario Lemiuex as the only players to lead the NHL in points in consecutive playoffs. Kucherov finished the 2021 postseason with 32 points as he tallied eight goals & 24 assists after missing the entire regular season due to hip surgery.
The Lightning forward has recorded 66 points over the past two postseasons, which is tied for fifth-most over two consecutive postseason. Only Wayne Gretzky and Lemieux have racked up more combined points than Kucherov in two straight postseasons.