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:
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
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
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.
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.
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
New York Islanders
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.
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.
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
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.
• • •
Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.