TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning have clinched the team’s third consecutive Stanley Cup Final berth after defeating the New York Ranger 2 to 1 in the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Saturday.
The two-time defending champions will continue their bid to become the first team in 40 years to win three consecutive NHL titles.
Saturday's victory will advance the Lightning into the Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche.
Based on the regular-season records, The Western Conference Champion Colorado Avalanche will host Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final will be on Wednesday, June 15 from Denver.
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Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final will be hosted in Tampa.
According to Ticketmaster, tickets for the home games go on-sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. for the general public.
Steven Stamkos scored two goals Saturday and put the Lightning ahead for good in the third period just 21 seconds after New York’s Frank Vatrano scored on the power play with the Lightning captain in the penalty box for holding.
Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat assisted on the winner with 6 1/2 minutes left, with the puck deflecting off Stamkos’ knee into the net after Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped the initial shot. Stamkos also scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle midway through the second period.
Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 20 saves for the Lightning, who won the series 4-2 — rattling off four straight victories after losing the first two games on the road — to advance to the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Lightning are the first team to make three consecutive appearances in the Cup Final since Edmonton did it from 1983-85. They are trying to become the first to win three straight championships since the New York Islanders claimed four in a row from 1980-83.
According to the NHL, there are 204 combined games of Stanley Cup Final experience on the Lightning’s current roster, which is 175 more than the Avalanche.
The Lightning and Avalanche have never met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Lightning holds an all-time series record of 11-6 when facing an opponent for the first time in a best-of-seven series.
The 2022 Stanley Cup Final will mark the first instance of the Lightning facing the top-seeded team from the opposite conference. The Lightning are 4-0 in their last four head-to-head series against the No. 1-ranked club from a conference, including the sweep of the Panthers in the second round.
Game 1 is Wednesday night in Denver. Watch it, and the other games, on your ABC Action News station.
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