The Tampa Bay Lightning will play in the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive year following their 1-0 win over the New York Islanders on Friday.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans had to be tense leading up to Game 7 on Friday night. Not only was star winger Nikita Kucherov’s status unknown for the contest, but the team had blown a 2-0 lead in Game 6 before losing to New York in overtime 3-2. It was simple for the Lightning — win or go home.
The Lightning will not be heading for an early vacation, as they defeated the Islanders 1-0 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive year. Now, they face off against the Montreal Canadiens beginning on Monday. Given how stressful the game had been, Lightning fans celebrated throughout social media following the huge win.
Lighting fans react to team reaching 2021 Stanley Cup Final
The Lightning did not need to do much offensively during Game 7, due to their defense putting on a clinic against the Islanders. Tampa Bay’s lone goal came in the second period while on the penalty kill. After Barclay Goodrow was called for cross checking, center Yanni Gourde put the puck past Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov to give the Lightning the game-winning goal.
Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy did not face much pressure through 60 minutes of playing time, as he stopped all 18 of New York’s shots on goal.
The Lightning’s quest to run it back will begin on Monday night, when they host the Canadiens. Tampa Bay looks to become the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since the Pittsburgh Penguins did so in 2016 and 2017. But Montreal should not be taken lightly, as they overcame a 3-1 series deficit in the first-round to the Toronto Maple Leafs and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.