Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point (21) celebrates his goal with Victor Hedman (77) against the Dallas Stars during first period NHL Stanley Cup finals action in Edmonton on Monday, September 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, defeating the Dallas Stars 2-0 Monday to capture the NHL’s top trophy in front of empty seats, sprawling tarps, and no fans at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Brayden Point and Blake Coleman scored the goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for his first career playoff shutout.

The Lightning players exploded off the bench as the seconds ticked to zero, swarming Vasilevskiy, their whoops and hollers echoing around the arena.

The Lightning are the champions of the so-called bubbled NHL playoffs, with players kept in isolation for the past two months. Games were played without fans in attendance in hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Lightning won the best-of-seven series 4-2 for the second championship in the 28-year-history of the franchise. The first cup came in 2004.

Tampa defenceman Victor Hedman was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Hedman scored 10 goals and added 12 assists during the Lightning’s run.

Vasilevskiy played all 25 post-season games for Tampa, including nine overtime affairs. One of those, against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, was a five-overtime marathon. His record was 18-7.

Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 29-22, and outshot them in every game of the series.

Point scored on the power play midway through the first period, sailing through the slot untouched and putting his own rebound past Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin.

Coleman made it 2-0 by capitalizing on a turnover midway through the second frame, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Cedric Paquette.

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Point’s goal and was the NHL’s top scorer in the playoffs with seven goals and 34 points. Point was second at 14 goals and 33 points.

Khudobin finishes the playoffs with a 14-10 record.

The Lightning finished fourth in the regular season (43-21-6) when play was suspended around the 70-game mark on March 12 due to the COVID pandemic.

Tampa was a model of consistency in the return-to-play tournament that began in early August.

The Lightning went 18-7, never lost two games in a row, and shut down the top three defensive teams in the league (Boston, Dallas, and Columbus).

The Bolts were overtime warriors, going 7-2 in extra-session games. They played 221:14 total in overtime, more than any team in playoff history.

It’s the first Stanley Cup for every Lightning player except Pat Maroon. The burly, bearded veteran winger won it all last season with the St. Louis Blues.

READ MORE: ‘We want him back’: Canucks trying to re-sign goalie Jacob Markstrom

It’s also the first Cup for head coach Jon Cooper, in his seventh full season behind the bench for Tampa.

He defeated Dallas interim head coach Rick Bowness. Bowness had been hired by Cooper as a mentor in 2013 and served the next five years with the Lightning as his assistant.

The Bolts had been knocking on the Cup door in recent years, making the final four in four of the last six seasons. In 2015 they lost to Chicago 4-2 in the final.

Nine members of the current Tampa roster were on that 2015 team: Kucherov, captain Steven Stamkos, Hedman, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Vasilevskiy, Braydon Coburn, Paquette, and Tyler Johnson.

The Stars franchise is now 1-4 in the Stanley Cup final, dating back to its Minnesota North Star roots. The lone championship came in 1999.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

hockeyNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge Council turned down an application for a cannabis retail store on 225th Street. (Black Press files)
City turns down cannabis retail store on 225th

Maple Ridge councillors say applicant needs new location

.
ON COOKING: Chef offers a new take on pumpkin spice

Pumpkin puree can be used to make a salad dressing

Tristan Kennedy, and his mom Naya, proudly displaying their joke book - A Reason to Smile. (Special to THE NEWS)
Pitt Meadows boy turns funny quarantine pastime into joke book

Tristan Kennedy, 5, placed wisecrack signs at the end of his driveway for 155 straight days

The Citizen of the Year awards were held on Saturday, as a virtual event.
Citizens of the year for Maple Ridge named

Maple Ridge Community Foundation holds annual awards night

Phase three of Onni’s Golden Ears Business Park is before council Tuesday.
New look for Golden Ears Business Park in Pitt Meadows

Zoom webinar allows public to share thoughts with council on Tuesday

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read