The Lightning Strike For The First Time Since 2004

The Lightning have done it! For only the second time in franchise history and the first time since 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Stanley Cup. After over a four-month layoff, the Lightning strike fast and hard against every opponent that stood in their way. After the way last year went down, the Lightning came out determined this year and succeeded in their ultimate goal and that’s winning the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning Strike For The First Time In Since 2004

The Regular Season

The Lightning came into this season with a chip on their shoulder. Last season, they had by far the most points in the league with 127. Tampa Bay had one of the best regular seasons in league history. They eventually got swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fast forward to this season and it’s been one to remember. The Lightning got out of the gate surprisingly slow as they got off to a 6-6 record with two different two-game losing streaks in October. November was no different as they went 6-6 again but this time they had a three-game losing streak.

Head coach Jon Cooper went in a direction no one thought he would as on a December 17th game against Ottawa Senators, he benched reigning MVP Nikita Kucherov in the third period. The Lightning went on to win against the Senators 4-3. Coach Cooper wouldn’t specify his decision making but many wonder if it was a message sent to the Lightning locker room. They went on the lose the next two games but after that, they took off.

The New Year

Just before the new year, the Lightning looked like the team of old. They went on a ten-game winning streak from late December to mid-January. The Lightning amazingly had another lengthy winning streak of 11 games. They were getting hot and looked like the team that was praised coming into the season. Shortly after the streak, it was a day in NHL history that no one will forget. On March 10th, the Lightning would play their last game of the regular season before the league was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. No one knew what was to come after that or for how long they would be out. In May, the NHL would propose a playoff format that would continue the season.

Stanley Cup Playoffs

The NHL’s playoff format worked out perfectly. Teams would play a qualifying round to get into the playoffs while the top four seeds played in a round-robin to determine seeding. The Lightning were the number two seed at the time and came out of the round-robin remaining the two seed. They matched up against the Blues Jackets, who swept them in the first round last season. Tampa won in five and proceeded to win in five against the Boston Bruins in the second round. Many said they had their toughest test yet in the East as they faced the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Final. They came out on fire in game one and never looked back as they beat the Islanders in six games.

Stanley Cup Final

The Stanley Cup Final would feature two southern teams as the Lightning matched up against the Dallas Stars. Coming into this series, the Stars had a lot of speed and firepower that could match up with the Lightning. It looked to be true as the Stars won game one but that only fueled Tampa. The Lightning took the next three games to take a 3-1 series lead. The Stars fought back in double-overtime to force a game six but that’s as far as they got. The Lightning knew they had to finish this as soon as they could as that’s what they did. They won game six by the score of 2-0. The Lightning strike for the first time since 2004 and it never felt better.

Game Finals

Game 1: 4-1 Stars
Game 2: 3-2 Lightning
Game 3: 5-2 Lightning
Game 4: 5-4 Lightning (OT)
Game 5: 3-2 Stars (2OT)
Game 6: 2-0 Lightning</span

Main Photo:
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