The Tampa Bay Lightning will advance to the Stanley Cup Final after a 1-0 win in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Despite an injury to Nikita Kucherov in Game 7, the Lightning managed to find a way to win the game. The Lightning will now face the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final, which kicks off Monday night.
Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cup final
Lightning dominates first half, islanders keep it aimless
The first period of Game 7 was dominated by the Lightning. Tampa Bay has been on the Islanders’ defense for most of the period. The Lightning outscored the Islanders 14-5. They were trying to sideline the game early as the Islanders tried to survive the first period. New York didn’t want the same to happen in Game 5. The Lightning exploded for three goals in the first period of Game 5. Those three goals sidelined Game 5. The Lightning created more chances to score more danger and only Semyon Varlamov was there to keep the goals out. Varlamov must have hit Victor Hedman hard during a breakaway. Then again on Erik Cernak on a loopback attempt and Alex Killorn on a point blank opportunity in the slot.
The Islanders survived the period taking no penalties as well. It was important for their confidence. New York had a few scoring opportunities, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was there to answer the bell. Nothing bigger than a save on a deflected shot from the big game Brock Nelson.
Love at first sight after dominating the second period
The match did not go without a goal for long. With the Islanders on the power play, Yanni Gourde opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. It was the first shorthanded goal the Islanders have allowed all season. The game is hosted by Ryan McDonagh, who blocks two shots and is patient with the puck coming out of the zone. He sends it down center to Killorn, who handed the puck to Anthony Cirelli. Cirelli found Gourde off the bench for a 1-0 lead. After going 1-0, the Lightning looked for more. They continued to attack the Islanders, again immobilizing them in their own defensive zone. This time, the Lightning outscored the Islanders 12-6 in the second period. Plus, the Lightning didn’t give the Islanders much offensively either. Again, without Varlamov’s play the seventh game could have spiraled out of control quickly.
End of the third period
It wasn’t the same since the Lightning at the start of the third period. They continued to dominate the game over the Islanders. Tampa Bay was determined to return to the Stanley Cup Final and defend their title. Champions intensify when the pressure mounts the most. This is exactly what the Lightning did. Vasilevskiy continued to stand for the Lightning. The Islanders created a good appearance, but the Lightning managed to limit the rebound opportunities on Vasilevskiy. Islanders forward Mathew Barzal looked gorgeous with the net wide open and the puck hopped over his stick. With the goalie out, the Lightning survived a flurry to win Game 7.
Notes: Vasilevskiy is the first goaltender in NHL history with three playoff shutouts in a single playoff year. Brayden Point’s nine-game streak has come to an end. Additionally, the Lightning are 6-0 in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs following a loss.
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