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Lightning Reach Stanley Cup Final With Game 7 Win Over Islanders

Islanders Lightning Hockey
Chris O'Meara
/
AP
Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate after defeating the New York Islanders in Game 7 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Friday, June 25, 2021, in Tampa.

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 18 saves Friday and Yanni Gourde scored a short-handed goal to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders 1-0 in Game 7 of their NHL playoff semifinal series.

The defending champions advanced to a Stanley Cup Final matchup against the surprising Montreal Canadiens, who upset the Vegas Golden Knights in six games in the other semifinal.

Game 1 is Monday night at Amalie Arena.

Gourde scored off a nifty pass from Anthony Cirelli at 1:49 of the second period.

Vasilevskiy turned away seven shots in the final period to post his fifth career playoff shutout — fourth this postseason.

Islanders Lightning Hockey
Chris O'Meara
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, left, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy celebrate after defeating the New York Islanders in Game 7 of their Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Friday, June 25, 2021, in Tampa.

The win comes after the Lightning blew a 2-0 second-period lead and lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 6.

"After a really tough loss the other night, you just can't count them out" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "They've just learned how to defend, and again, just another masterful performance by the defensive zone to win a huge Game 7 for us."

The Lightning now await the Canadiens, who are in the Stanley Cup Final for the 35th time in their illustrious history, winning an NHL-leading 24 titles.

The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t lost consecutive postseason games in more than two years and had not faced a winner-take-all challenge since 2018.

This will be the Lightning's fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

Stanley Cup Final Schedule

  • Game 1 - Monday, 8 p.m. (Tampa)
  • Game 2 - Wednesday, 8 p.m. (Tampa)
  • Game 3 - Friday, 8 p.m. (Montreal)
  • Game 4 - Mon., July 5, 8 p.m. (Montreal)
  • Game 5 - Wed., July 7, 8 p.m. (Tampa)-x
  • Game 6 - Fri., July 9, 8 p.m. (Montreal)-x
  • Game 7 - Sun., July 11, 7 p.m. (Tampa)-x

x-if necessary

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