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Lightning Pull Away, Top Canadiens 5-1 In Stanley Cup Final Opener

Brendan Gallagher, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Gerry Broome
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) blocks a shot by Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) during the second period in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Tampa.

The Lighting led 2-1 entering the third period but pulled away to take a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov had two goals and an assist and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 18 saves to outplay Carey Price and lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Kucherov put the defending champs up 3-1 two minutes into the third period. He scored again at 11:25 of the third, then assisted on Steven Stamkos’ power-play goal that made it 5-1 with just over a minute to go.

Playoff scoring leader Nikita Kucherov had two goals, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 18 saves.

Kucherov also assisted on a power-play goal by Steven Stamkos with a minute left in the game.

Stamkos, the Lightning's captain, said a strong finish helped the Lightning pull away.

"We had a one-goal lead going into the third, just like we did in Game Seven the other night," Stamkos said. "Let's attack, let's go, let's keep the pressure on, and I thought we did a really good job with that. We got rewarded with some goals and that helps, but just a great third period to finish out a game.

The Canadiens had not given up a power-play goal in an NHL playoff-record 13 consecutive games.

The teams will play Game 2 in Tampa on Wednesday night before traveling to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.

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