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Lightning beat Canadiens in Game 5, repeat as Stanley Cup champions

Lightning beat Canadiens in Game 5, repeat as Stanley Cup champions
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, shown Dec. 12, 2017, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena to win their second straight championship.

Backstopped by star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning needed only one goal to close out the best-of-seven series in five games. Rookie forward Ross Colton scored off a pass from David Savard in the second period for the lone score, helping the Lightning win their third Cup in franchise history.

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Vasilevskiy, who notched a 22-save shutout in the series-clinching victory, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the postseason. He becomes the first goalie to win the award since the Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick in 2012.

"It's unbelievable," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "This group, to go back to back after everything we went through last year in the bubble, to go through this year's ups and downs, it's amazing."

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With the win, the Lightning became just the ninth franchise in NHL history to repeat as champions. Tampa Bay is the second team to win consecutive championships in the league's salary-cap era (since 2005), joining the Pittsburgh Penguins (2016-17).

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The Lightning controlled the pace in the first period of Game 5, holding a 13-8 edge in shots and a 16-8 edge in controlled entries. Tampa Bay, however, couldn't get the puck past Canadiens netminder Carey Price.

Colton finally broke open the scoring 13:27 into the second frame when Savard set him up. Entering the fifth game in the series, Colton and Savard were the only players on the Lightning's roster who hadn't won a Stanley Cup.

RELATED Lightning beat Canadiens, take 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final

Tampa Bay beat the Dallas Stars in September 2020 to win the Cup in the Edmonton bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team's only other title came in 2004.

The Canadiens, who avoided being swept with a 3-2 overtime win in Monday night's Game 4, were seeking their 25th championship in team history.

Price stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced, but the 33-year-old goalie ultimately fell one save shy of preventing the Lightning from reuniting with the Stanley Cup.

RELATED Stanley Cup Final: Lightning crush Canadiens in Game 1

The Canadiens rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs before eliminating the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights to reach their first final since winning the Cup in 1993.

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