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Elite 8: Lightning join exclusive back-to-back Stanley Cup club

Tampa Bay is the first team to win consecutive championships since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lighting defeated the Dallas Stars in last year's final.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lighting defeated the Dallas Stars in last year's final. [ Marko Ditkun Special to the Time ]
Published Jul. 8
Updated Jul. 8

The Lightning have done it again. With one second-period goal by Ross Colton, Tampa Bay became the first team to clinch the Stanley Cup in back-to-back years since the Penguins did it in 2016 and 2017.

Only seven other teams have accomplished the repeat feat since the NHL became the sole competitor for the Cup in 1926. Here’s a little bit about the Elite Eight and their championship runs:

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal players jubilate as their team defeats the Rangers 4-1 to win the Stanley Cup.
Montreal players jubilate as their team defeats the Rangers 4-1 to win the Stanley Cup. [ Associated Press (1979) ]

1930-1931, 1956-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969, 1976-1979

The Canadiens can claim the longest consecutive streak of Cup wins with five from 1956-60 and the most Cup championships with 23 (their last coming in 1993). Montreal dominated all five series from 1956-60, with a 20-5 edge in victories.

Detroit Red Wings

Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig gets a face full of ice while defending a shot from Red Wings left wing Kirk Maltby during Game 4 of the 1998 Stanley Cup final.
Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig gets a face full of ice while defending a shot from Red Wings left wing Kirk Maltby during Game 4 of the 1998 Stanley Cup final. [ SUSAN A. WALSH | Associated Press (1998) ]

1936-1937, 1954-1955, 1997-1998

The Red Wings won their first Cup in 1936 — their 10th year in the NHL — and their second in 1937. To start its next back-to-back run, Detroit defeated Montreal in 1954 with a Game 7 overtime goal from left wing Tony Leswick; that was the last time a Cup final went the distance and ended in OT. In 1997 and ’98, the Red Wings swept both their opponents.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Members of the  Maple Leafs celebrate after their 2-1 win over the Blackhawks in 1962.
Members of the Maple Leafs celebrate after their 2-1 win over the Blackhawks in 1962. [ Associated Press (1962) ]

1947-1949, 1962-1964

The Maple Leafs defeated Montreal in 1947 en route to their first of three straight Cups, followed by topping Detroit in 1948 and 1949 to become the first team to win three in a row. They did it again 15 years later.

Philadelphia Flyers

Fans, officials and members of the Philadelphia Flyers gather around the Stanley Cup after the Flyers beat the Bruins.
Fans, officials and members of the Philadelphia Flyers gather around the Stanley Cup after the Flyers beat the Bruins. [ Associated Press (1974) ]

1974-1975

The Flyers became the first expansion team to win the Cup, defeating the Bruins in 1974. In 1975, they beat the Sabres 4-2 in the first Cup final featuring two expansion teams.

New York Islanders

Duane Sutter of the Islanders celebrates with teammate Butch Goring, left, after scoring to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead against the Flyers in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup final.
Duane Sutter of the Islanders celebrates with teammate Butch Goring, left, after scoring to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead against the Flyers in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup final. [ RAY STUBBLEBINE | Associated Press (1980) ]

1980-1983

When the Islanders swept the Canucks in 1983, they became the first U.S.-based team and second team to win four consecutive Stanley Cups. Since then, no franchise has won more than two in a row.

Edmonton Oilers

Wayne Gretzky waves as he and Oilers teammates whoop it up with the Stanley Cup following their 6-3 win over the Bruins in 1988.
Wayne Gretzky waves as he and Oilers teammates whoop it up with the Stanley Cup following their 6-3 win over the Bruins in 1988. [ JAMES FINLEY | Associated Press (1988) ]

1984-1985, 1987-1988

The Oilers won four Cups in five years during the 1980s. Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy twice in that stretch (1985, 1988) while setting playoff records (most assists, points in 1985) and Cup final records (most goals, 1985; most points, 1988) along the way.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating Pittsburgh defeated the Predators in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating Pittsburgh defeated the Predators in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. [ MARK HUMPHREY | Associated Press (2017) ]

1991-1992, 2016-2017

The last two times a team won back-to-back Cups, it was the Penguins, the first time behind back-to-back Conn Smythe winner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux, the second time with back-to-back Conn Smythe winner Sidney Crosby. Three of the four finals were decided in six games (1991, 2016, 2017). The Penguins swept the Blackhawks in 1992.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning left wing Ross Colton celebrates his goal, the first of the game, after beating Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during second-period action in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.
Lightning left wing Ross Colton celebrates his goal, the first of the game, after beating Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during second-period action in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

2020-2021

The Lightning have won two of three Stanley Cups in Tampa. Last year, many fans watched the franchise’s first Cup victory in 16 years from home or at watch parties outside Amalie Arena due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Bolts taking care of business in the bubble at Toronto and Edmonton. This year, the Tampa Bay faithful witnessed the Lightning become the first team since Chicago in 2015 (when the Blackhawks beat you know who) to hoist the Cup on home ice.

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