"Steven Stamkos, come hoist the Cup" The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions

Logan Lockhart
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@lgllockhart

Monday, September 28, 2020


The Tampa Bay Lightning won its franchise’s second Stanley Cup, and first since 2004 on Monday night.

 

The 2020 Stanley Cup Champions defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in game six of the series in the Edmonton bubble, capturing sports most prized trophy.

 

After 130 games of action dating back to August 1 when the qualifying rounds began, the Tampa Bay Lightning remained standing after 23 other teams had been ousted.

 

Just like when the Lightning clinched the Cup in ‘04, two goals were scored in the final game.

 

16 years ago, it was Ruslan Fedotenko who scored the game-winner, and on Monday night it was Brayden Point.

 

And through the announcement of Gary Bettman on the ice after the game, it was learned that Victor Hedman was the 2020 Conn Smythe winner.

 

Hedman scored an astounding 10 goals through the postseason, amongst the all-time leaders for a defenseman in a playoff run.

 

For a moment that many had been waiting for since the beginning of the Finals, and for some, for over 12 years,  Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was first to hoist the Stanley Cup.

 

Stamkos only played a portion of one period since February 25--game three of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, when the native of Markham, Ontario scored on only his third shift.

 

The Lightning received its second power play at 11:58 of the opening frame when defenseman John Klingberg tripped Alexander Volkov after losing the race for an icing call.

 

And it was Point that continued his stellar playoff run, scoring his 14th marker of the postseason and giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. 

 

The Lightning were undefeated in the playoffs when Point scored.

 

Dallas recorded just four shots in the opening frame, and just eight through the first two periods. It wasn’t just scoring that came at a premium for the Stars, it was scoring opportunities as well. 

 

Blake Coleman extended the Lightning’s lead to 2-0 in the first half of the second period, beating Stars starter Anton Khudobin, after receiving a cross-ice pass from Cedric Paquette.

 

Coleman, the native of Plano, Texas, grew up a fan of the Dallas Stars and was seven years old when Brett Hull scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal in 1999, to win the franchise’s first title. 

 

The Stars played their best shifts of the game in the third period and were able to create sustained pressure in Tampa Bay’s zone for the first time in the affair. 

 

Prior to the start of game six, Tampa Bay posted a 9-1 record when acting as the “road” team in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

 

Make it 10--but this time, for the Stanley Cup.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy has not lost a game in the playoffs coming off a loss (6-0) and in the sixth game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, that trend continued, this time, in shutout fashion. 

 

The native of Tyumen, Russia made 22 saves in the Cup-clinching win.

 

For Anton Khudobin, the cinderella-like playoff run ended on Monday night, in a game where his team could not provide any offensive support to help his cause. 

 

Khudobin made 27 saves in the final game of the season.

 

The 2019-2020 NHL season began 52 weeks ago, as of the night of game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was the longest season in the history of the league, and was eventually played under the oddest of circumstances--potentially, once in a lifetime circumstances.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the first team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after being swept in the first round in previous year’s playoffs.