Tampa Bay Lightning win the 2019 SSG NHL Stanley Cup Championship
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 7 – 3 in a convincing game 5 victory. In front of a packed crowd of 19,289 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, the home Flames jumped to an early 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Mark Giordano. The Lightning struck back on goals by Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point before the end of the first period. Alex Killorn made it 3-1 on a nifty pass from defenseman Anton Strallman at the 4:04 mark. The Lightning would then go on the powerplay and Nikita Kucherov would tee up a wicked one timer for the eventual game winner. Johnny Gaudreau who some believe was still affected by a horrific torn thumb ligament would score midway through the period to keep the Flames hopes burning. Brayden Point and Kucherov would each add another goal in the 3rd period to take the crowd out of the game before the Flames Sean Monahan tallied his 12th goal of the playoffs on the power play. Victor Hedman added a late insurance goal before the buzzer sounded and the Lightning would celebrate their latest Stanley Cup championship. Captain Steven Stamkos was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the best player in the 2019 Playoffs. The 29 year old Center scored 7 goals and 9 assists in 17 games this post season. The Lightning were simply overpowering through most of the playoffs. A first round sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes was followed by a second round sweep of the Boston Bruins. Tampa made short work of the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 series before facing the Calgary Flames. Although the Flames finished the season as the #1 team in the league standings, they were unable to overcome the speed and skill of the vaunted Tampa Bay lineup. GM Egan Franke captures his first Stanley Cup since joining the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and will surely enjoy a couple weeks of celebration before preparing for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and Free Agency period. As with any Cup winner, there will be changes made but for tonight the Lightning stand alone as the top team in the NHL.