The Tampa Bay Lightning capped an incredible run through the postseason with the franchise’s second-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
Although the Lightning were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks in six tight Cup Final games, the playoff ride will be remembered by Tampa Bay fans for its resilience and exhilaration.
In one final salute to the 2014-15 Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning, we’ve ranked the top 11 Bolts’ moments from the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Because there were too many candidates to squeeze into just 10 spots.
Relive the Bolts’ journey to the Stanley Cup Final and enjoy the experience for a second time.
10. KUCH COMES TO THE RESCUE (PART I)
Tampa Bay and Montreal played to a 1-1 stalemate through 80 minutes of their Second Round series opener at the Bell Centre.
In double overtime, however, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov made his second game-winner count – his first was waved off – by sticking a shot through Habs defenseman Tom Gilbert’s screen and past goalie Carey Price to steal a win on road ice.
Kucherov thought he had provided the winning score in the first overtime. His initial attempt on a breakaway was stuffed by Price but the rebound – along with Price and Kucherov -- spilled into the goal.
After video review, officials confirmed their no goal call on the ice, saying Kucherov pushed Price’s pad with his stick and didn’t allow the Price to play his position properly.
Kucherov’s second game-winner wasn’t without controversy either as replay showed Valtteri Filppula might have been offside on the initial surge into the offensive zone that eventually resulted in Kucherov’s score.
No replay would overturn the second game-winner, however.
On the breakthrough goal, Filppula backhanded a pass from the left boards to Kucherov between the circles. The Russian forward received the puck on his backhand, transferred to his forehand and snapped a shot over Price’s glove to lift the Lightning to their third-straight playoff victory and a 1-0 series lead against the Canadiens.
Tampa Bay’s win was its sixth straight – third straight at the Bell Centre -- against its Atlantic Division rivals and the team that knocked it out of the 2014 postseason.