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Lightning win conference final and touch the trophy. No superstition here

“It didn’t work last time,” Victor Hedman said after the series-clinching win. “That was a no-brainer for us.”
Lightning players and staff pose with the Prince of Wales Trophy following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday in Edmonton.
Lightning players and staff pose with the Prince of Wales Trophy following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday in Edmonton. [ MARKO DITKUN | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 18, 2020

Superstition didn’t work for the Lightning in 2015, so they are ditching it in 2020.

Most teams don’t touch the trophies after winning their respective conference finals. But Tampa Bay had other thoughts.

Steven Stamkos avoided touching the Prince of Wales Trophy in 2015 when the Lightning won the Eastern Conference final, and they still didn’t win the Stanley Cup.

On Thursday night, following the Lightning’s 2-1 overtime win over the Islanders, defenseman Victor Hedman couldn’t get his hands on the trophy soon enough.

“(Not touching the trophy) didn’t work last time,” Hedman said. “That was a no-brainer for us.”

Hedman was the first player to touch the trophy, patting the top of it twice with his left hand before skating around to the back for a photo with Alex Killorn, Ryan McDonagh, Steven Stamkos and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

Killorn also touched the trophy, moving it closer to him and Daly and off-center on the table.

Hedman kept his right hand on it during the photo and as he hugged Stamkos before lifting the trophy off the table and into the air as the rest of the team crowded around for a group photo.

Related: Twitter reacts to Lightning clinching berth in Stanley Cup final

“We just thought, Screw it, we’ll grab it,” Killorn said. “We’re going to celebrate this, and then we’ll hopefully celebrate another one.”

Having Stamkos in the photo with the three alternates wasn’t much of a question, McDonagh said.

“We wanted all the team captains up there and wanted Steven a part of it for sure, no doubt," McDonagh said. "He’s been a big part of this run even without playing. Definitely a special moment for that group and then to get the whole team involved, great moment.”

Related: Lightning get Brayden Point back, but Anthony Cirelli is hurt in Game 6

None of the Dallas Stars players touched the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after their Game 5 win over Vegas in the Western Conference final.

Stars captain Jamie Benn shook Daly’s hand before swinging wide of the table for a photo. His teammates avoided touching the trophy, although Denis Gurianov was quick to remove his hand after laying it on the table.

Up Next:

vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Rogers Place, Edmonton

TV/Radio: NBC/AM 970 WFLA

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.