Tampa bay Lightning facility Steven Stamkos kisses the Stanley Cup ~ the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 Wednesday. < DIRK SHADD | time >
TAMPA — as soon as the last horn of a unique, unpredictable season blared Wednesday night in ~ Amalie Arena, worn down legs hopped end the railing that the Lightning bench and Tampa bay skated right into hockey history.

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The Lightning’s 1-0 win over the Canadiens in game 5 of the Stanley Cup last sealed a 4-1 collection win and made Tampa Bay simply the second team since the salary lid era began in 2005-06 to victory back-to-back Stanley Cups, involvement the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legacies favor this are rare in today’s game. The lid keeps groups from being good year ~ year, but this Lightning team managed to continue to be together and achieved the improbable.

“No issue what happens from here on out, this group is walk to it is in etched in history forever,” captain Steven Stamkos said.

The Lightning rebounded native a game 4 loss in Montreal, making lock the very first team to win the Cup on house ice since 2015, when they had to clock the Blackhawks claim the championship in Chicago.

“We’ve been knocking in ~ the door for so numerous years,” coach Jon Cooper said. “And currently to have the ability to do it, back to back, and it sort of cements this group as … well, they’re special.”


Lightning best wing Nikita Kucherov (86) and also head coach Jon Cooper re-publishing a hug. < DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | times >

After celebrating critical year’s championship in an north arena in Edmonton after ~ 65 job in a playoff bubble, the Lightning lugged Lord Stanley home in front of an announced capacity crowd that 18,110.

“Quite the come back from being really disappointed and also not winning video game 4 to seizing the moment,” Stamkos said. “I think that what type of encouraged this team this year was, obviously we won the Stanley Cup last year, however we didn’t obtain to perform it in front of our family, ours friends and also our fans, and also we had the chance (Wednesday) and … the crowd to be amazing.”

A celebration event a year in the making took place, with streamers and also confetti falling indigenous Amalie’s rafters as the football player mobbed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished the season through his record fifth straight series-clinching shutout in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy, who made 22 saves in the victory, winner the Conn Smythe Trophy together the postseason’s most an useful player, a rarity for a goaltender.

“(Vasilevskiy) to be on his head (Wednesday), and also he retained us in the game and also another shutout through him,” forward Nikita Kucherov said. “Remarkable. I’m so happy; us didn’t want to go ago to Montreal. The fans in Montreal, come on, they acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Room you kidding me?”

The Lightning’s legacy will be one of redemption and resilience. Their season began with them playing in arenas therefore desolate they might hear your skate blades on ice. They sustained strict coronavirus protocols, were isolated in your hotels ~ above the road and also played every game with a large bull’s-eye on their backs.


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Photos: Lightning repeat as Stanley Cup champions
The Tampa only Lightning clinch their second straight Stanley Cup v a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in game 5 Wednesday in ~ Amalie Arena in Tampa. Tampa Bay won the series four games to one.
A team built on skill reinvented itself through grit. When it purchase in on being a far better defensive team, it came to be championship caliber. And also in the playoffs, games are chose by how countless goals a team prevents, not how numerous it have the right to score.

“People want to sacrifice, everything it took, to it is in back-to-back Stanley Cup winners and also just the trust we had going into the playoffs,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “We had actually a hard time at the finish of the continual season, and people are asking if us were really in the or not, however once the playoffs started, we sort of pushed the button.”

The 2 players in the lineup that weren’t part of last year’s team — rookie front Ross Colton and also defenseman David Savard, got at the trade deadline — connected for the game’s just goal through 6:33 left in the 2nd period.

Colton, who began the year v AHL Syracuse, had actually moved approximately the 2nd line ~ Alex Killorn broke his left fibula in video game 1. Killorn had actually surgery come insert a rod in the leg critical week and missed the last 4 games that the final.

Colton’s charge to the network will currently live in Tampa Bay sporting activities history.


Lightning left soup Ross Colton (79) win Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) during the second period. < DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | times >

The Lightning winner a puck battle against the close to boards, and also the puck landed with Savard follow me the far side. Once the Lightning won possession, Colton winner a joust with Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson for positioning in front of the net, and he redirected Savard’s pass through traffic into the earlier of the net.

Kucherov and also Stamkos said they couldn’t sleep for several nights throughout the final. Vasilevskiy said prior to Game 5 he assumed of his emotion watching Chicago victory the Cup on home ice end the Lightning in 2015.

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“I to be crying usually on the bench through 1:40 left, and also I couldn’t even throw my ingredient off,” claimed forward beat Maroon, who won his 3rd straight Cup. “But that takes a team of 25 men, and also we walk that, and I’m really proud of these guys.”

Once the celebration started and also the players took their victory laps lifting the Cup, starting with Stamkos, then Hedman, and going down the roster, the emotions sank in in former of the same arena the was empty when they play their an initial game the the season Jan. 13.

When Cooper had his rotate some 20 minutes into the celebration, he lifted the Cup high in the air and looked right into the crowd v still nearly every chair filled and mouthed 3 words come it: