Jul 8, 2021 - Sports

Lightning bring Stanley Cup glory to Tampa Bay yet again

Ross Colton celebrates his goal during the second period. Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Can you say dynasty? The Tampa Bay Lighting is the first team to win the Stanley Cup at home since 2015 and join the NHL's elite list of back-to-back champs.

What happened: The team won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday in front of 18,110 fans at Amalie Arena, beating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0.

  • Young Ross Colton scored the game's only goal on a thread-the-needle pass from defenseman David Savard, who was the lone Lightning veteran without a Stanley Cup ring. No more.
  • Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had a shutout in all four series clinchers and never lost back-to-back games, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.

State of play: What do you call it when one region dominates in every professional sport? The signs on the edge of town that call Tampa the "City of Champions" always felt like a bit of a stretch. Now? Not so much.

  • The Lightning join our Super Bowl LV-winning Bucs in the victory circle.
  • Two big, serious questions: Can the Lombardi Trophy fit inside the Stanley Cup? Also, can the Stanley Cup be tossed across the Hillsborough River?

The big picture: Just 45 years ago, Tampa Bay had no major professional sports franchises. Think about that.

  • The difference between this year's win and last year's? The players get to smooch the cup without worrying about COVID. And we'll get to party with them, too.

What's next: The pressure is on the Rays to win the World Series. The Rays made the World Series last year, but couldn't bring home a title.

  • Now, Champa Bay is very real, and we're all watching.

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