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.
3. TYLER JOHNSON'S BUZZER-BEATER
The Lightning slogged through Game 3 of the Second Round vs. Montreal, the Bolts content at times to sit on a 1-0 lead Alex Killorn provided eight minutes into the game on a give-and-go with Steven Stamkos, Killorn burying an open shot from the right circle glove side through Carey Price.
The Lightning’s 1-0 lead lasted over 38 minutes into the third period, until a determined Brendan Gallagher leveled for the Habs with a falling-forward backhand shovel underneath Ben Bishop’s right leg.
Game 3 seemed destined for overtime.
Tyler Johnson made sure it wouldn’t get that far.
The play started with Anton Stralman gaining possession of the puck just inside his own blue line with nine seconds on the clock. Stralman sent the puck ahead for Ondrej Palat, who carried into the Habs’ zone and found Victor Hedman streaking down the left wing.
Hedman took the puck from outside the left circle, through the circle and toward the goal line, centering a pass around sprawling Habs defenseman Andrei Markov for a waiting Johnson on the edge of the blue paint.
Johnson one-timed the puck past Price with 1.1 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Lightning a three-games-to-none lead in dramatic fashion and sending a shocked Amalie Arena crowd into delirium.
Officials checked the replay, confirming Johnson’s goal came just before the end of regulation.
Tampa Bay’s 2-1 victory in Game 3 gave the Lightning an insurmountable lead in the Montreal series and a chance to sweep the Canadiens a day later.