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Stanley Cup Final

Top 10 moments of Stanley Cup Final

Bettman presenting trophy to Stamkos, Perry's heroics among best between Lightning, Stars

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup on Monday, capping one of the most unique journeys to the top of the hockey world.

They defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the hub city for the Cup Final, to win the best-of-7 series 4-2.

There were six games played, two that went to overtime, including one that went to double overtime. There were 19 players who combined for 33 goals in the series. There was one shutout, for Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (22 saves) in Game 6.

And there were many memorable moments in a Cup Final played entirely in the same city, with no fans in the building.

Here are the top 10 moments of the 2020 Cup Final:

 

Lightning gather around Cup, Stamkos receives it from Bettman

It was a different Cup Final, so the Lightning accepted the Stanley Cup in a unique way too.

Every player, coach and member of the Tampa Bay staff in Edmonton gathered around NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Stanley Cup. Commissioner Bettman then talked about the journey to win it this year.

"This has been the ultimate team effort," Commissioner Bettman said. "This Stanley Cup run will go down in the record books as perhaps the hardest run of all time. You guys should all be incredibly proud. This has been an amazing accomplishment. It is my honor to present the Stanley Cup to Steven Stamkos."

Fireworks went off behind them as Stamkos raised the Cup over his head and skated around the center-ice face-off circle before handing it to defenseman Victor Hedman, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

"It was a no-brainer for me," Stamkos said of handing the Cup to Hedman. "I mean if we ever won a Cup with this group, I knew I was giving it to 'Heddy.' I think we honestly did a video or an interview like three years ago and we talked about that. So it was an easy choice for me."

Video: TBL@DAL, Gm6: Gary Bettman presents Cup to Lightning

 

Players use FaceTime to celebrate with loved ones

Several Lightning players skated around during the postgame celebration with their phones in their hands, FaceTiming with the family and friends who might have been in the building and joined them on the ice for the Cup celebration in normal times.

Only a handful of players, including Alex Killorn and Barclay Goodrow, had family join them on the ice because they were in the bubble.

"I just celebrated with my future wife, Francesca, and then my family back home," Lightning forward Pat Maroon said. "My mom and dad, my whole family. I wish they were here … Circumstances we all know, but I can't wait to get home and celebrate with them."

 

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]

  

Cooper brings entire coaching staff to press conference

Lightning coach Jon Cooper honored his coaching staff after Game 6 by bringing every member of it to his celebratory postgame press conference.

From left to right at the table were video coach Nigel Kirwan, goaltending coach Frantz Jean, assistant Derek Lalonde, Cooper, assistant Todd Richards, video coordinator Brian Garlock and assistant Jeff Halpern.

"I am the one in front of the microphone for the last 511 days -- but again who's counting?" Cooper said. "But bottom line is we don't get this done without this group here and they did a phenomenal job. … You need a team to do it and this is a group that led our team, and then you just have a bunch of players that believe."

 

Perry keeps Stars alive with double-OT winner

Corey Perry's second goal of Game 5 was one of the biggest of his 15-season NHL career.

The Stars forward scored at 9:23 of the second overtime to give Dallas a 3-2 win and keep it alive, cutting Tampa Bay's series lead to 3-2.

Perry dug the puck out from behind the net and got it to John Klingberg at the point before going to the front of the net. Klingberg patiently waited for a lane to open before shooting. His shot hit the skate of Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta and went to Perry, who collected the rebound and was able to tuck it in around Vasilevskiy's outstretched left pad.

"You just have an understanding that whatever it takes, he'll try to find a way to win," Stars forward Joe Pavelski said of Perry after Game 5.

Video: DAL@TBL, Gm5: Perry scores in 2OT

 

Pavelski ties Game 5, sets record

Pavelski's game-tying goal at 13:15 of the third period in Game 5 was historic. It was his 13th of the postseason and 61st of his NHL playoff career, the most for a United States-born player in League history.

Joe Mullen previously held the record with 60.

Pavelski also became the fourth player to score at least 10 goals in a postseason at age 36 or older, joining Maurice Richard (11 with the Montreal Canadiens in 1958 at 36), Wayne Gretzky (10 with the New York Rangers in 1997 at 36), and Brett Hull (10 with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 at 37).

Video: DAL@TBL, Gm5: Pavelski ties the game, sets record

 

Shattenkirk OT winner in Game 4

Kevin Shattenkirk floated a low wrist shot from the right circle into the far side of the net at 6:34 of overtime for a power-play goal to give the Lightning a 5-4 win in Game 4 and a 3-1 lead in the series.

Shattenkirk had room to take his time before floating the wrist shot through Jamie Oleksiak's legs, past a screening Maroon and underneath Anton Khudobin's blocker and inside the left post.

"It's kind of every sort of emotion you can think of," Shattenkirk said after the game. "More than anything, just how happy it makes you feel to help your team win a game."

Video: TBL@DAL, Gm4: Shattenkirk scores PPG in OT

 

Stamkos returns, scores

It was a short and sweet 2020 postseason debut for Stamkos, but the Lightning captain may never play a more meaningful five shifts totaling 2:47 of ice time than he did in Game 3.

Stamkos scored on his first and only shot of his only game in the postseason, roofing the puck into the far side of the net from low in the right circle to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead at 6:58 of the first period in what became a 5-2 win that gave them a 2-1 lead in the series.

He didn't play another shift after leaving the ice with 6:18 remaining in the first and was ruled out for the rest of the series prior to Game 6.

"To be a part of it, it was a dream come true," Stamkos said following Game 3.

Stamkos sustained a lower-body injury prior to returning for training camp July 13. He missed Tampa Bay's first 21 games of the postseason and didn't play again after skating in the first period of Game 3.

Video: TBL@DAL, Gm3: Stamkos scores in 1st period

 

Kucherov's perfect pass to Palat in Game 2

Nikita Kucherov finished the series with eight points, including seven assists. He finished the postseason with 34 points, and became the third player in NHL history to have at least 27 assists in one postseason. Gretzky did it three times for the Edmonton Oilers (31, 1987-88; 30, 1984-85; 29, 1986-87) and Mario Lemieux once for the Pittsburgh Penguins (28 in 1990-91).

But his assist on Ondrej Palat's power-play goal at 14:22 of the first period in Game 2 might have been his most impressive considering the play, the pass and the moment.

Kucherov, who less than three minutes earlier set up Brayden Point for a power-play goal, started the play that led to Palat's goal by getting the puck at the right-wing half boards. 

The puck then moved quickly from Kucherov to Hedman at the point to Palat in the left circle, back to Hedman and then to Kucherov, who set up the goal by one-timing a pass through the slot to Palat in the left circle.

Palat had time and space to score and give the Lightning a 2-0 lead in what became a 3-2 win to tie the series 1-1.

Video: DAL@TBL, Gm2: Palat beats Khudobin for PPG

 

Khudobin's wild save in Game 1

Khudobin found a new use for his blocker late in the second period of Game 1. He used it to catch a puck to help make a save.

With Dallas leading 2-1, the rebound of Ryan McDonagh's shot from the left point sprung out to Anthony Cirelli in front of the net. Cirelli's shot hit Khudobin's right skate, and the puck popped up high in the air. Khudobin reached up with his blocker, brought the puck down and tucked it into his side to freeze it with 3:47 remaining in the second period.

Joel Kiviranta scored with 32 seconds left in the period to give the Stars a 3-1 lead. Khudobin made 22 saves in the third and Dallas, with an empty-net goal from Jason Dickinson, won 4-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Video: DAL@TBL, Gm1: Khudobin shuts down Cirelli in front

 

Hanley scores first NHL goal

Stars defenseman Joel Hanley opened the scoring in the Cup Final with his first NHL goal.

Hanley scored with a high, blocker-side shot from between the circles at 5:40 of the first period in Game 1 to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. The play started with Kiviranta forcing Point into a turnover. The puck went behind the net to Roope Hintz, who found Hanley cutting down the middle.

Hanley, 29, became the first defenseman since 1991 to score his first NHL goal in the Stanley Cup Final and fifth in history (since 1927). Jim Paek of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored his first NHL goal in Game 6 of the 1991 Final against the Minnesota North Stars.

"It's something you dream about when you're young," Hanley said after Game 1. "Just cool to be able to contribute with a goal like that. Obviously pretty cool to be in the Final too."

Video: DAL@TBL, Gm1: Hanley scores in 1st period

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