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SO THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING ARE THE FAVORITES TO WIN THE CUP...RIGHT?

JUN 22, 2021  (12H49)      COOPER GODIN
The Tampa Bay Lightning steamrolled the New York Islanders in Game five on Monday night by a score of 8-0. Tampa's offense kicked it into high gear when they needed it, with the eight goals being the most they've scored in a single game this season.

If the Lightning can manage to get five more wins, they'll become the second team in the last 23 years to have won back-to-back Stanley Cups, joining the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins.

There will be fans across the league that aren't happy that the Lightning currently have a roster that's $18 million over the salary cap, and those fans will mention that it wasn't fair how the Lightning manipulated long-term injured reserve. Regardless of what your thoughts are on the issue, what should be talked about is how well stars like Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Nikita Kucherov have been playing.

Brayden Point is having an incredible postseason. The 25-year-old has 18 points (13 G, 5 A), 4 penalty minutes, and is a -3 in 16 games. With his goal last night, Point now has the second longest playoff goal streak in NHL history, currently sitting at eight games.

He has also joined some elite company in terms of goal scoring. For a second straight postseason, Point has recorded 12+ goals. Only two other players in NHL history have scored 12+ goals in consecutive postseasons, those players are...Mario Lemieux in 1991 and 1992, and Wayne Gretzky in 1984 and 1985.



Nikita Kucherov missed the entire regular season due to an injury, but picked up right where he left off from the bubble in 2020. In 16 games, Kucherov has a staggering 27 points (5 G, 22 A).

He recorded 3 points in Tampa's 8-0 win on Monday night, which gave him his 16th career 3+ point game in his postseason career. That ties him for third all-time among European players, only behind Jari Kurri who had 28 games, and Jaromir Jagr who had 20 games.

With his three assists last night, Kucherov now has 22 in these playoffs, which is now third all-time among wingers. His 2021 totals are only surpassed by his own 27 assists in 2020, and Mark Recchi's 24 assists in 1991.





Vasilevskiy is also having a strong postseason. In 16 games, he has an 11-5 record with a 2.05 G.A.A., a .936 save percentage, and three shutouts. If Tampa Bay can win this year's Stanley Cup, there's no doubt he'll be the front runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

With a win on Wednesday night, the Lightning will advance to their second straight Stanley Cup Final. Not only will they have to face the Islanders, but also their rowdy fans. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET on CBC, Sportsnet, and NBC.
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NHL STATS
PLAYOFFS
2020-2021GPGAPTS
NIKITA KUCHEROV
2382432
BRAYDEN POINT
2314923
STEVEN STAMKOS
2381018
VICTOR HEDMAN
2321618
ALEXANDER KILLORN
198917
WILLIAM KARLSSON
1941216
NICK SUZUKI
227916
NATHAN MACKINNON
108715
DAVID PASTRNAK
117815
MATHEW BARZAL
196814
TYLER TOFFOLI
225914
MIKKO RANTANEN
105813
GABRIEL LANDESKOG
104913
JOSH BAILEY
196713
ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER
195813
JEAN-GABRIEL PAGEAU
1931013
ONDREJ PALAT
235813
BRAD MARCHAND
118412
CHARLIE MCAVOY
1111112
ALEX PIETRANGELO
194812
  COMPLETE STATS
NHL STATS
YESTERDAY
JULY 7, 2021 G A PTS
ROSS COLTON
1 - 1
RYAN MCDONAGH
- 1 1
DAVID SAVARD
- 1 1
JOSH ANDERSON
- - -
JOEL ARMIA
- - -
PAUL BYRON
- - -
COLE CAUFIELD
- - -
ERIK CERNAK
- - -
BEN CHIAROT
- - -
ANTHONY CIRELLI
- - -
  COMPLETE RESULTS