Stanley Cup Final shows value of hitting on top draft picks
Same for the Colorado Avalanche with Gabriel Landeskog going second in 2011, Nathan MacKinnon first in 2013 and Cale Makar fourth in 2017. The Lightning and Avalanche started from the bottom, and now they’re here in the Stanley Cup Final, in large part to nailing those high picks. “There’s no question that talent is a commodity that’s hard to come by,” said six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier, who’s working the final as an analyst for ESPN. The Canadiens, New Jersey Devils or wherever he lands probably won’t be in the Stanley Cup Final right away, but he's ready to take that ride. “Tampa and Colorado both had first overall picks a number of years back and now they’re finally contenders.wftv.com
Avalanche beat Lightning in OT to open Stanley Cup Final
Stanley Cup Lightning Avalanche Hockey Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy gives up goal on a shot from Colorado Avalanche left wing Andre Burakovsky, not seen, during overtime in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)DENVER — (AP) — Andre Burakovsky scored 1:23 into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche opened the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory over the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. Burakovsky is one of only two Avalanche players who have won the Cup. The arena was rocking from the start of warmups for the first Stanley Cup Final game in the city in 2001 — also the last year the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, with Sakic serving as captain. If anything, Game 1 against the Lightning showed this series won't be easy for either team.wftv.com
Vasilevskiy, Lightning beat Panthers 2-0 in Game 4 for sweep
Andrei Vasilevskiy had 49 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a four-game sweep of the Florida Panthers with a 2-0 victory that sends the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions back to the Eastern Conference final for the sixth time in eight years.
Paul scores 2, Lightning hold off Maple Leafs 2-1 in Game 7
Lightning Maple Leafs Hockey Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nicholas Paul celebrates his second goal of the night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, during the second period in Game 7 of a first-round series in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Toronto. The Maple Leafs were once again unable to push through and finally flip a long, ugly narrative of playoff failures for a franchise that has now lost its last seven series, including six straight dating back to 2017. William Nylander then missed high on a breakaway and the Tampa goaltender robbed Matthews with the Maple Leafs buzzing. The Maple Leafs, however, just couldn’t find a way through with Campbell on the bench for an extra skater to complete another chapter of playoff disappointment. The forward — in agony as he headed down the tunnel to the locker room — tried to return for the second period, but shut it down after a brief shift.wftv.com
Lightning spoil Predators' outdoor debut in Nashville, 3-2
Tanner Jeannot and Filip Forsberg each scored a power-play goal for Nashville, which dropped to 0-2 in outdoor games. This was the outdoor game the Predators, and Nashville, had wanted for years at Nissan Stadium, the home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans, across the Cumberland River from their own arena. Nine players remain from Nashville’s first outdoor game in the 2020 Winter Classic in Dallas. Andrei Vasilevskiy came in tied for the league-lead with 27 wins for Tampa Bay with Juuse Saros’ 25 victories tying him for fifth. DRESS FOR THE MOMENTBoth Tampa Bay and Nashville made to sure to coordinate their wardrobes before heading to this game.wftv.com
Palat scores in OT, Lightning rally past Habs in NHL return
It was the first NHL game since the Lightning won 4-3 at Vegas on Dec. 21 in the only game played that night. Tampa Bay had six players and coach Jon Cooper unavailable in COVID-19 protocols. Tampa Bay center Brayden Point had two goals and an assist in his return after missing 14 games with an upper-body injury. With goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott both out, Maxime Lagace made 27 saves in his first NHL game since May 8, 2021, with Pittsburgh. Colton gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead at 8:11 of the second just after a Montreal minor penalty expired.wftv.com
Vasilevskiy, Cirelli help Lightning end Capitals' streak
Tampa Bay also got goals from Alex Killorn and Brayden Point. Taylor Raddysh picked up his first NHL point, coming in his eighth game, by assisting on Point's goalBrett Leason got his first NHL goal and Conor Sheary also scored for the the Capitals, who came in 5-0-3. Washington star Alex Ovechkin had his season-opening eight-game point streak (nine goals, six assists) end. Killorn and Cirelli had second-period goals as Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead. Leason scored 1:13 into the game when his shot from the right wing boards was redirected past Vasilevskiy off Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman’s stick.wftv.com
Vasilevskiy wins Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL playoff MVP
Six years later, he’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion at the peak of his career after backstopping the Tampa Bay Lightning to a second consecutive title. Continuing to validate the organization’s faith in him, Vasilevskiy had a shutout in all four series clinchers, never lost back-to-back games and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. “It’s all about experience and how the team is playing in front of you,” he said before the Game 5 clincher. “Night in, night out (the) backbone of this team.”That was Bishop’s role in 2015 before a torn groin derailed his Cup final. Vasilevskiy had started a total of 13 NHL games at that point and had the spotlight on him at age 20 on hockey’s biggest stage.wftv.com
Lightning, Canadiens tied 0-0 after 1st in Cup Final Game 5
The defending champion Lightning outshot the Canadiens 13-4 in a dominant start to their second opportunity to wrap up the series and win the Cup for the second time in 10 months. But they couldn't crack Price, who seems to have found his groove in the final after a rough first three games. Forward Blake Coleman, a pending free agent who's likely playing his final series with the Lightning, had a dominant first period on the forecheck, frazzling the Canadiens and drawing a penalty. At the other end of the ice, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made four saves and sticked away the puck from a danger area with the Canadiens buzzing. ___Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsCopyright 2021 The Associated Press.wftv.com
Canadiens need bounce-back from best players in Cup Final
Of course, the Canadiens have felt this way before, looking outclassed in the semifinal opener against Vegas before roaring back and winning in six games. Cooper and his team will also need to adjust to Montreal's adjustments and will rely on a mature approach to playoff hockey. “(We are) trying to get to the strength of our game as much as possible and wear teams down over the course of a long series,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. They did last year in the final falling behind to Dallas and last round against the New York Islanders. Tampa Bay players have said on multiple occasions the Canadiens are “here for a reason” and that they won't underestimate the opponent standing in their way of a second Cup championship.wftv.com
Lightning take early 1-0 lead over Canadiens in Game 1
Playoff goals leader Brayden Point also assisted for Tampa Bay, which has never won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final. Price is making his Stanley Cup Final debut in his 14th season with the Canadiens. He is the first goaltender in league history to win more than 400 regular-season and playoff games combined before appearing in a Cup Final. Meanwhile, center Jake Evans is in the Canadiens lineup after missing nine games due to a concussion. The Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Final for the third time since 2015.wftv.com
Kucherov leads Lightning over Canadiens 5-1 in Game 1
Playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov had two goals and an assist and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 18 saves to outplay Carey Price and lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Vasilevskiy shines again, Lightning blank Islanders 1-0
The defending champions advanced to a Stanley Cup Final matchup against the surprising Montreal Canadiens, who upset the Vegas Golden Knights in the other semifinal. Vasilevskiy turned away seven shots in the final period to post his fifth career playoff shutout — fourth this postseason. The Islanders, who were aiming for their first Stanley Cup Final berth in 37 years, forced a winner-take-all showdown by rallying to win Game 6 on Anthony Beauvillier’s overtime goal. GAME 7sThe Islanders fell to 4-6 all-time in Game 7s, 4-5 on the road. The Islanders were trying to earn their first Stanley Cup Final berth since 1984.wftv.com
Stamkos, Vasilevskiy pace Lightning's 8-0 rout of Islanders
Stamkos ignited a three-goal opening period — the first against the Islanders all season — by scoring just 45 seconds into the game. Point has scored a goal in eight straight games, the second-longest stretch within a single postseason in NHL history. Vasilevskiy, meanwhile, stopped all 21 shots he faced for his third playoff shutout this year. It’s the longest such streak in NHL history, and Vasilevskiy has been the goaltender in each of the victories. QUICK STARTERSThe Lightning are 11-1 when scoring the first goal this postseason, 0-4 when they haven't.wftv.com
Martin, Pulock help Isles top Lightning 3-2 to tie series
Matt Martin capped New York’s three-goal second period, Ryan Pulock made a diving stop in front of an open goal in the closing seconds and the Islanders held on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series at two games apiece.
Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3
Lightning Islanders Hockey Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) brings the puck up the ice against the New York Islanders during the third period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinals, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. Tampa Bay won 2-1. Yanni Gourde also scored to help Tampa Bay improve to 6-1 on the road in the playoffs. The Islanders outshot the Lightning 8-5 in a tight third period, but couldn't tie it. GAME 3 FORTUNESThe Islanders have lost Game 3 at home in each of their three playoff series to fall into a 2-1 series deficit. However, those were at home after Tampa Bay won each of the first two games on the road.wftv.com
Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3
Brayden Point kept up his scoring touch with a tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Kucherov shines, Lightning beat Islanders 4-2 in Game 2
Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat delivered early goals and NHL playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov had three more assists to help the Tampa Bay Lightning rebound from a series-opening loss and beat the New York Islanders 4-2 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Vasilevskiy, Lightning beat Panthers 4-0 to advance
Panthers Lightning Hockey Florida Panthers right wing Patric Hornqvist (70) leads the team to congratulate the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers during Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara)TAMPA, Fla. — (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy wrapped up a series with a Game 6 shutout for the second straight time, stopping 29 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay advanced to the second round for the fifth time in the past seven years. The Panthers have not won a playoff series since the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals. The roughing penalty led to Tampa Bay’s second power-play chance of the game and second goal.wftv.com
Point scores 2 in 3rd to lift Lightning over Panthers 5-4
Nikita Kucherov scored two power-play goals in his first appearance of the season, and Blake Coleman scored a short-handed goal. Point tied it at 4 with seven minutes to go on his power-play goal and then got the winner when he skated in on a breakaway and backhanded the puck past Bobrovsky. The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on Coleman’s short-handed goal 16 seconds later. The Panthers tied it at 1 on Barkov’s power-play goal at 9:41, and Verhaeghe put them ahead with 3:29 left in the first. The second period ended with a fighting scrum in front of the Tampa Bay net.wftv.com
Driedger gets third shutout as Panthers beat Lightning 4-0
Chris Driedger stopped 30 shots to record his third shutout of the season, Juho Lammikko scored a short-handed goal, and the Florida Panthers secured home-ice advantage for the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the regular season finale for both clubs.