Jacksonville Sports Day

The Tampa Bay Lightning Are in the Stanley Cup Final for the Third Time

Tampa Bay defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at Rogers Place to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Anthony Cirelli scored the series-clinching goal at 13:18 of overtime, taking a pass from Barclay Goodrow on the edge of the crease and one-timing a shot past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov (46-of-48 saves) for the 2-1 final.

New York opened the scoring, Devon Toews beating Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy on a wraparound shot 4:15 into the first period.

Tampa Bay tied the score 1-1 after Victor Hedman cashed in on a rebound from the slot at 6:28 of the second period.

Tampa Bay outshot the Islanders 48-27. Victor Hedman took six shots to pace the Lightning.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26-of-27 shots in the Game 6 win for the Bolts. Vasilevskiy improved to 14-5 this postseason, the 14 wins most in the NHL.

Cirelli’s goal was his first in the Eastern Conference Final and third this postseason.

At 23 years and 64 days old, Cirelli is the eighth-youngest player in NHL history to score an overtime goal to send his team to the Stanley Cup Final (best-of-5 series or greater).

Cirelli scored his first career overtime goal in the playoffs and first career postseason game-winning goal. Goodrow provided the lone assist on the series-clinching goal, his second assist of the series and fourth this postseason.

Goodrow has a history of coming up big for his team in series-clinching overtime games. Last season, he scored the overtime, series-clinching goal for San Jose in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal versus Vegas.

Hedman netted his ninth goal of the 2020 Playoffs, tied with Brayden Point for most on the Lightning. Hedman pulled into a tie with Brad Park and Bobby Orr for third-most goals by a defenseman in a single postseason in NHL history.

Hedman leads all NHL defensemen in the 2020 Playoffs for goals. Hedman has scored a goal in six of his last eight games.

Erik Cernak tallied the primary assist on Hedman’s tying goal for his second helper of the Eastern Conference Final and fourth of the postseason. Nikita Kucherov also picked up an assist for his 20th of the 2020 Playoffs.

Vasilevskiy’s 14 wins are the second-most all-time in a single playoffs for a Lightning netminder (most: Nikolai Khabibulin – 16 wins in 2004).

Vasilevskiy has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his last nine playoff starts and 13 of 19 overall this postseason.

Game one of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. puck drop from Edmonton’s Rogers Place.

NOTES: The Bolts are 21-9 all-time in overtime games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the best overtime win percentage in NHL postseason history…. the Bolts improved to 10-2 this postseason in one-goal games.Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper collected his 50th career playoff victory in the Game 6 win. Cooper is now 50-37 in the postseason guiding the Lightning….the Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in franchise history (also: 2004 and 2015). The Lightning won an Eastern Conference Final in less than seven games for the first time in franchise history.

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