World News – FI – Tampa Bay Lightning wins Stanley Cup in pandemic bubble


The Lightning beat the Dallas Stars, four games to two, to win their second championship, in a season shaken by the coronavirus pandemic

EDMONTON, Alta .– The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Monday, more than two months after entering the NHL bubble in Toronto, to leave Edmonton as the winner of the the 2020 Stanley Cup

Brayden Point scored on a power play in the first period and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves in his first playoff shutout as Tampa Bay won the best seven series, four games to two Blake Coleman also scored for the Lightning in the second period

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff most valuable player He led all playoff defensemen with 10 goals

Anton Khudobin made 27 saves for the Stars, who were three games to one behind and forced a game six with a double overtime win in Game 5, but couldn’t push the series to a match 7

« We knew what we were capable of, with our whole team and we were just so grateful to have the opportunity to come back to play, » said Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh. « From day one we were focused and connected, and now we can say mission accomplished, which is a pretty amazing feeling »

The Point tally came during Tampa Bay’s second power play of the game He streaked the lunge, then picked up his own rebound and beat Khudobin high for his 14th playoff goal Linemate Nikita Kucherov drew the main assist, his 34th point in the playoffs and his 27th assist, fifth in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux

Vasilevskiy played every minute at the net for the Lightning and set a playoff record for minutes played The old record was held by Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames, who was on the losing side in 2004 when the Lightning won the only previous championship in their franchise

After Lightning captain Steven Stamkos made a brief but thrilling appearance for 2 minutes 47 seconds in Game 3 and scored a goal from his lone shot, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper officially got it. ruled out for the rest of the playoffs on Sunday He put on his uniform to receive the Gary Bettman Commissioner’s Cup after the game

“I think we put our gear on with about three or four minutes left, we didn’t want to do anything wrong,” Stamkos said “But just to be out there and celebrate with the guys It’s something thing we talked about at the start of training camp, which is that it won’t take just 20 guys to win the Stanley Cup, it will take all the guys that were in that bubble, and more And I’m so proud of everyone from them « 

Cooper made two roster changes for Game 6 – reinserting defender Zach Bogosian in place of Jan Rutta for the first time since Game 1 and replacing forward Carter Verhaeghe in favor of rookie Alexander Volkov, who saw his first career playoff

After back-to-back games in which the Lightning won in overtime on Friday and the Stars responded in double overtime on Saturday, the intensity dipped slightly on Monday as clubs settled in for another tight verification of the first period

As was often the case in this series, special teams made a difference The Lightning was 1 for 3 with the man advantage, while the stars were 0 for 3 Dallas’ final power play came about with 4:33 left in the third period

The Stars didn’t generate a shot on goal, but continued to press after shooting Khudobin for the extra attacker After making just eight shots in the first two periods, Dallas beat Tampa Bay, 14- 8, in the third, but Vasilevskiy stopped them all

« We’ve been working all season, » said Khudobin « We lost one goal, two goals, three goals We never doubt we can’t win We just kept going Unfortunately that’s what it is right now The character in this piece is amazing « 

Over time, screams of joy echoed through Rogers Place, which was devoid of fans buying tickets, as Lightning players spilled onto the ice to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory that had been long to come

Point’s first-half goal turned out to be the game winner, and Coleman’s insurance tally came off a nice tic-tac-toe passing game at 7:01 of the second period Assists on that goal went to Cedric Paquette and Pat Maroon, who stole the puck to start the game

New addition to the Lightning this season, Maroon entered the playoffs as Tampa Bay’s only player with a Stanley Cup ring On Monday, he lifted the trophy for the second year in a row after winning with his hometown St Louis Blues in 2019

“The boys, you know, obviously with Covid they came together as a group,” said Maroon “We had a plan They sacrificed themselves, away from their families and kids and I think it ‘is probably one of the hardest trophies to win Obviously we didn’t have a family there, it was a little different this year, but it’s nice to celebrate with these boys « 

To the Lightning and many of its players, this Stanley Cup has an air of justification A year ago, they finished the regular season as the NHL’s Best Team in the League and tied a league record with 62 wins But their championship aspirations were quickly stifled in a first-round sweep at the hands of the eighth-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets.

This season the Lightning came back mentally harder, in part thanks to the addition of other veterans who thought they had something to prove One of them, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, scored the winner of the overtime in Game 4 to put the Lightning to a Stanley Cup victory – just one year after being redeemed from the last two years of his Rangers contract

In the era of parity in the NHL, where dynastic franchises largely belong to a bygone era, Tampa Bay has been one of the league’s most successful teams since Cooper took over behind their bench towards the end of the 2012-13 season

For five of those years, 2013 to 2018, Cooper was assisted by Rick Bowness, the veteran defensive coach who left for Dallas at the start of the 2018-19 season. He was named interim head coach of the Stars midway through this season, after Jim Montgomery was fired

Bowness was also in the final in 2011 with Vancouver and in the 2015 Tampa team

“Three kicks – the last nine years – it’s disappointing,” he said. “Sitting here as a coach you have to take the punches We don’t question the effort or the ‘engagement of anyone We failed against a team We lost against a better team « 

Cooper is currently the league’s longest-serving coach Under his leadership, the club have now made the playoffs in six of their seven full seasons, reaching the Eastern Conference final twice and losing to Chicago in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final before finally finishing the job this year – a Sun Belt team achieving their championship dreams in an empty arena in northern Alberta

“It’s easy to talk about it now,” said Cooper “At the end of the day there are good people, I guess, success finds them instantly. But in a team sport, I really believe to this failure – you have to feel it before you can succeed

“You wear the bumps, you wear the bruises, you wear the heartache,” he continued, “You wear the feelings, you wear it on your sleeve and it keeps you awake at night, but it motivates you too And it almost becomes – the fear of losing becomes greater than the joy of winning, and we weren’t going to be turned down

« Our players will not be denied We have to get up here and talk about what happened last year, and understand what happened last year, but the players took it seriously, and I can’t be happier for these guys because they deserve it « 

Tampa Bay

World News – FI – Tampa Bay Lightning wins Stanley Cup in pandemic bubble


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