TAMPA, Fl. — It appears lightning does strike twice.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena, capturing their second consecutive championship in less than a year.
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.
“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.”
Vasilevskiy won 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.
Last season, Tampa won the cup without anyone in the stands and no family members to hug or celebrate with. Wednesday night saw that all change. That was a major motivating factor for the Lightning.
“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.”