NHL Stanley Cup Final 2021: Canadiens vs. Lightning Top Performers, Series Stats

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2021

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point hoists the Stanley Cup after the team defeated the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)
Phelan Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanley Cup champions once again. Tampa Bay wrapped up their series against the Montreal Canadiens with a 1-0 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday.

The Stanley Cup Final wasn't a sweep, but the Lightning were dominant once again. Montreal, the feel-good team of the NHL postseason, managed a win in Game 4. However, Tampa Bay won it in five, locking up the second championship in two years and the third overall for the franchise.


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Up next for the Lightning is Monday's boat parade. While fans won't be able to directly join the players on the water, they will be permitted to join in the festivities.

"Our fans will be able to line up along the Riverwalk, through our parks," Tampa mayor Jane Castor said, per WTSP Tampa.

Before we get to the celebration, though, let's take a look at how the Lightning got here.


Series Stats


Tampa Bay: 17

Montreal: 8

Shots on Goal

Tampa Bay: 144

Montreal: 140

Power-Play Goals

Tampa Bay: 2

Montreal: 1

Power-Play Opportunities

Tampa Bay: 15

Montreal: 10

Penalty Minutes

Tampa Bay: 48

Montreal: 58

*Statistics from Hockey Reference

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Top Performers

Andrei Vasilevskiy 

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason MVP—an honor the three-time All-Star didn't see coming.

"It was a big surprise," Vasilevskiy said, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. "I couldn't believe it."

Vasilevskiy might have been the only one who didn't see the Conn Smythe Trophy heading his way. While the goalie wasn't perfect, he was when it mattered most. He didn't allow a goal in any of Tampa's four series-clinching games during the playoff run, and he never lost back-to-back games.

During the Stanley Cup Final, Vasilevskiy allowed one or fewer goals in three of the five contests.


Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov

While Vasilevskiy took care of business on the defensive end, center Brayden Point was Tampa Bay's offensive catalyst. For the second straight postseason, he led the Lightning in goal scoring. Point had 14 goals and nine assists in 23 games during this year's run, while playing just under 19 minutes per game:

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However, Point didn't score in the Final—though he did have three assists in Game 1.

Winger Nikita Kucherov was more productive on the goal front in the Final, scoring three times in five games. He added two assists to finish with five points against the Canadiens.


Carey Price

While Canadiens goaltender Carey Price wasn't good enough to stop Tampa's offensive onslaught, this might not have been a series at all without him.

Price did enough in Game 4 to extend the series and held the Lighting to just a single goal in Game 5. Price, who was tremendous for most of the postseason, was eager to rebound after Montreal surrendered 14 goals while falling into a 0-3 series hole.

"I can definitely play better," Price said after Game 3, per Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. "It’s just not good enough so far."

Price was good enough over the final two games, notching a remarkable 61 saves and a save percentage of 95.3. Unfortunately, the Canadiens couldn't muster enough offense to send the series to Game 6.