Jun 13, 2022 - Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning head to third-straight Stanley Cup Final

The Lightning pose with the Prince of Wales Trophy after winning the East Division Final.

Lightning team photo after winning the East Final. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are four wins away from hoisting their third straight Stanley Cup, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

The big picture: Three-peats aren't just rare in the NHL. Only eight franchises have gone back-to-back-to-back in the history of the four major North American sports leagues, and it hasn't happened in 20 years.

  • 🏒 NHL: Three teams on five occasions — Maple Leafs (1947-49, 1962-64); Canadiens (1956-60, 1976-79); Islanders (1980-83).
  • 🏀 NBA: Three teams on five occasions — Lakers (1952-54, 2000-02); Bulls (1991-93, 1996-98); Celtics (1959-66).
  • ⚾️ MLB: Two teams on four occasions — Yankees (1936-39, 1949-53, 1998-2000); Athletics (1972-74).
  • 🏈 NFL: There have been no three-peats in the Super Bowl era. (The Packers did it twice in the earlier years: 1929-31 and 1965-67.)

Looking ahead: The Stanley Cup Final (Lightning vs. Avalanche) begins Wednesday in Denver. We'll break down the matchup in the days ahead.

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