Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning captured their first Stanley Cup since 2004 with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars in Monday's Game 6.
The Lightning won their second Cup in franchise history despite playing without captain and star forward Steven Stamkos, who last played in Game 3 of the final before being ruled out for the remainder of the series with a core muscle injury.
Tampa Bay defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins -- the NHL's No. 1 team in the regular season -- and the New York Islanders before upending the Stars in a postseason that featured two Canadian bubble sites due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It takes a lot to be in a bubble for 80 days or whatever long it was," said Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. "But it's all worth it now, we're coming home with the Cup."
Brayden Point scored a power-play goal in the first period with assists from Nikita Kucherov and Hedman to give the Lightning an early 1-0 lead. In the second frame, Blake Coleman killed a penalty and scored on an odd-man rush to clinch the Lightning's championship victory.
"The beauty of our team is everyone was chipping in," said Point, who scored a playoff career-best 14 goals this year. "We got tremendous depth. We got contributions from anyone and everyone at different times, and that's what makes this win so special."
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy anchored his team to the title with a 22-save shutout. Stars netminder Anton Khudobin faced 29 shots and stopped 27.
The NHL is the first of the four major North American professional sports leagues to crown a champion since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.