Lightning strike first against Panthers, win 4-1 in Game 1
Florida went 0 for 18 on the power play in the series win against the Capitals and was scoreless on three more tries Tuesday. But Tampa Bay cashed in three of its six chances. Bellemare’s goal came 3:35 into the third period, giving Tampa Bay its first lead of the game — and the Lightning kept it the rest of the way. Tampa Bay left no doubt late, with Kucherov and Colton each getting power-play tallies in the final 4:06 to put the game away. ... Tampa Bay improved to 15-19 in Game 1s.wftv.com
NHL offseason moves influenced by coronavirus' impact on cap
Zdeno Chara is no longer in Boston after the Bruins captain signed with Washington. And the Sabres made an even bigger splash in free agency by landing 2018 NHL MVP Taylor Hall in October. Hall, for example, signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo by realizing the free-agent market was going to be tight. Oilers general manager Ken Holland chalked it up to the new economic realities facing the NHL. “It’s salary-cap related, which is related to the pandemic, which has given us a hard, flat cap for the foreseeable future,” Holland said.
Bubble hockey champions: Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cup
The triumph of winning the NHL championship in a bubble was certainly no less sweet for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played 964 regular-season and 137 playoff games to get to this point, losing in the final twice before. Tampa Bay had Point and No. Coach Jon Cooper thought the attitude needed to change from wanting to beat every opponent 9-0 because that’s not realistic in playoff hockey. ... Alexander Volkov made his NHL playoff debut for Tampa Bay, which also saw Patrick Maroon become just the eighth player to win the Cup in back-to-back seasons with different teams (St. Louis).
Stanley Cup: Stars and Lightning turn defense into offense
This is a Stanley Cup matchup for all of those who like their games to be a bit defensive. “In today’s NHL you need that for your team to be successful,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said Friday. “We're not surprised,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. ... He’s doing it all right now.”The Stars signed 14-year veteran Andrej Sekera as a free agent last summer, and he is finally in his first Stanley Cup Final with his fifth team. “Everyone is obviously very hungry to go all of the way,” said Hedman, part of Tampa Bay's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final five years ago.