TAMPA, Fla — The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive season.
They beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 to wrap up the series four games to one, with Ross Colton scoring in the second period.
Andrei Vasilevskiy posted a series-ended shutout for an NHL-record fifth consecutive time dating to the 2020 final.
The victory came in front of over 17,000 fans at Amalie Arena, a far cry from last fall's win in an empty arena in Edmonton, Alberta. Follow along below for live coverage and join in on the conversation by following us on Twitter.
BACK-TO-BACK STANLEY CUP CHAMPS! The Lightning defeat the Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 to win it all.
We've hit the halfway point of the 3rd period with the Lightning still leading. Shots are 5-1 Tampa Bay in this period. The Lightning lead in shots for the game as well, 24-15.
The Lightning have yet to find any luck on the power play tonight. Montreal kills it and the Bolts still cling to a 1-0 lead.
The third period is underway with the Lightning on the power play. They haven't been able to capitalize so far tonight with the man advantage.
It's 1-0 Lightning.
Lightning couldn't put another one past Carey Price to close out the second. They'll start the third period with the 1:23 remainder of their power play.
Bolts lead 1-0.
Brayden Point draws a holding penalty to put the Bolts on the power play to end the second period.
Ross Colton gives the Lightning a lead!!! It's 1-0 with time ticking down in the 2nd period!
The Lightning kill yet another penalty. We're still scoreless more than halfway through the 2nd period.
The Canadiens go back on the power play, their third chance of the night. Mikhail Sergachev gets two for tripping.
Tampa Bay kills the penalty. We're still scoreless.
Montreal goes on the power play early in the 2nd. They're 0-for-1 so far tonight.
The puck has dropped on the 2nd period and we are underway!
The period ends without a goal.
We'll open the 2nd period still tied at 0.
Lightning still scoreless on the power play.
We'll have some 4-on-4 hockey for a short while until the Rutta penalty is over, then the Lightning will have a man advantage. Corey Perry goes to the box again for interference.
It's the Canadien's turn on the power play. Jan Rutta goes to the box for cross checking.
The Canadiens kill the penalty. The Bolts open the night 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
Early power play for the Lightning. Corey Perry gets two for hooking.
The National Anthems are over and it's time for hockey! Game 5 is underway!
Six years ago, the Lightning watched from the bench as the Blackhawks lifted the Stanley Cup on home ice after beating Tampa Bay, 2-0, in Game 6 of the Final.
“I couldn’t watch it,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I think I’m looking away from the whole thing until I see out of the corner of my eye the handshake line started, and then we got in that line.”
On Wednesday, the Bolts have a chance to win the Cup at home, becoming the first team to do so since that Blackhawks team in 2015.
The fourth win in any playoff series is always the hardest, and the cliché proved true Monday night.
The Bolts played from behind for the first time in the series.
Star players Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov took hits from the Canadiens all night.
Tampa Bay’s vaunted power play was a scoreless 0-for-5, including a four-minute double minor at the end of the third period that stretched into overtime.
The Bolts did have scoring chances, but not enough puck luck, hitting the post three times.
Now the Bolts are turning the page – and they’ve been in this position before.
In last year's Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning held a 3-1 series lead over the Dallas Stars after winning Game 4 in overtime. They got a little ahead of themselves and let the Stars force overtime, where Corey Perry scored the game-winner.
Tampa Bay responded with a Game 6 shutout.
"That experience we had losing Game 5 last year was pretty tough," forward Anthony Cirelli said. "We had an opportunity, and they get that overtime goal. It's kind of the same situation here. We have to have a short memory. The game happened. They got the goal, and we didn't. Now we're going back home, and we have an opportunity again.”
The Lightning have been the most resilient team in the playoffs. Their record in games following a loss is 13-0 in the last two postseasons.
Even though the team had preferred to arrive home Tuesday morning as back-to-back Cup champions, perhaps clinching the title in a sold-out Amalie Arena and Thunder Alley was meant to be, as Cooper said after the Game 4 loss:
Nine months after hoisting the Cup in an empty Rogers Place arena in Edmonton, they have a chance to do it again, finally in front of family, friends and fans.
"No doubt we missed an opportunity last night," McDonagh said. "Our group knows that. You turn the page pretty quick here this morning and you realize what a great opportunity you have here as a team, as a group, as an organization. Up 3-1 in the series and you've got to win one more and you're going into a place you're familiar with, the fan base that's going to be behind us, we've got to go out there and give it our best effort and try to win one hockey game."
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