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Lightning Round: Lightning one win away from clinching their second straight Stanley Cup

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Tyler Johnson scored two goals in what could be one of his last games for the Lightning.

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final at Bell Centre and took a confident 3-0 lead in the series. The Lightning could clinch their second straight Stanley Cup as soon as on Monday. Justin had a recap of this game [Raw Charge]

Coming into Game Three, the Montreal Canadiens probably would have been ecstatic if they had been told they would put three pucks past Andrei Vasilevskiy. After being held to just two goals in the opening two games, three goals in one game would be considered an offensive explosion. It was, just not as big as the one the Tampa Bay Lightning had. Tyler Johnson scored twice while Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Blake Coleman also found the back of the net for the Bolts in their 6-3 victory.

Nikita Kucherov added another assist and goal, joining an elite list of players with the most points over two consecutive postseasons and solidifying himself as the Conn Smythe favourite.

Only two players have led the Stanley Cup scoring race with a bigger margin than Kucherov, and he has potentially at least one game to increase that margin.

If you’re not tired of Tampa Bay’s record-breaking news, here’s another one: the Lightning are the most scoring team over the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final since the 1982 New York Islanders.

That was also the first game in July in NHL history. Jan Rutta became the first-ever player to score in July, while Victor Hedman was the first player to score a goal in 12 different calendar months.

After scoring two goals Tyler Johnson was named first star of the game. Given the current circumstances where the Lightning are facing serious cap issues, Tyler Johnson might be playing his last games in the Lightning jersey, which makes these moments even more special.

Jon Cooper also reflected on the current Stanley Cup run, comparing it with the last year: “We don’t know what our team is going to look like next year. Some crazy circumstances had to happen for this team to stay together.”

Game Four is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET on next Monday at Bell Centre, Montreal. Some old friends will be present at the game.

Hockey News

The Minnesota Wild have signed an eight-year extension with forward Joel Eriksson Ek.

The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly interested in acquiring the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.