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Lightning “Struck Once,” Now Big Faves To “Strike Twice”

June 26, 2021

The defending Stanley Cup Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning (what a run for “Champa”/Tampa Bay as their 3 teams have made their sport’s last 4 final round entities, winning 2 of 3 but beware as “chalk heel” so often wrong, Barry Melrose picked them vs the Canadiens) rode the game’s only goal, a shorthanded one by Yanni Gourde to a (1-0) win in #7 vs the Islanders.

T.B. netminder, Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded a series clinching shutout (he stopped only 19 shots as T.B. had a wide edge in play as they “semi’d” the Isles for a second straight season) for the 4th straight time, most notably in the first such, a (2-0) win on September 28, 2020 in the Edmonton “bubble” that gave the Lightning their first title and second ever, the previous one in 2004.

Anthony Cirelli whose overtime goal in #6 of last season’s above referenced “semi,” had the lone assist, making a great play, then feeding Gourde, who shot the puck past the excellent Isles’ goalie, Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 30 of 31 Lightning shots.

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