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

(Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near house

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Canadian Horizons is taking steps to develop a 320-unit residential neighbourhood at 1050 Spiller Road, northeast of the City of Penticton. (Canadian Horizons photo)
Penticton Indian Band opposes Canadian Horizons development

Proposed residential development will remove the protected rights of the syilx Nation, says PIB

This picture taken in yesteryears shows how popular the Naramata public beach has been over the years.
(Naramataslow)
It does take a village to save a beach

Nearly $600K raised so far to preserve Naramata park

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

The Summerland Steam will play their first exhibition game of the season on Friday, Oct. 23. Unlike previous years, there will be no spectators allowed in the stands this year in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brennan Phillips - Black Press)
Junior B hockey teams to play in empty arenas

Summerland Steam and other teams affected by decision to close facilities to fans

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Most Read