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Time capsule: Key moments in the Lightning’s remarkable run

Tampa Bay’s hopes of a third straight Stanley Cup are over, but what an incredible ride it’s been.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, center, watches the puck during the second period against the Avalanche in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Sunday.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, center, watches the puck during the second period against the Avalanche in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Sunday. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 27|Updated Jun. 27

TAMPA — The Lightning’s honeymoon has ended. There will be no boat parades or drinks consumed out of the Stanley Cup this summer.

But what a wild ride it has been these last four years. Here’s a look at some of the team’s most pivotal moments since 2019 (yes, we start with that infamous sweep).

March 18, 2019: Lightning clinch the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy with victory over Arizona.

Lightning center Steven Stamkos is presented the 2019 Presidents' Trophy by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos is presented the 2019 Presidents' Trophy by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. [ SHADD, DIRK | Tampa Bay Times ]

March 26, 2019: Lightning sign coach Jon Cooper to multiyear contract extension.

April 6, 2019: Lightning tie 1995-96 Red Wings for most wins in regular season (62) with 6-3 victory over Boston.

April 10, 2019: Lightning open postseason with 4-3 loss to Blue Jackets after holding 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.

April 16, 2019: Lightning become first Presidents’ Trophy winner to get swept in the first round of the playoffs with a 7-3 Game 4 loss at Columbus.

Steven Stamkos (91) walks down the tunnel to the locker room after the Lightning's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.
Steven Stamkos (91) walks down the tunnel to the locker room after the Lightning's 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

May 3, 2019: Lightning re-sign defenseman Jan Rutta to a one-year contract.

July 29, 2019: Lightning re-sign goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to a $76 million, eight-year contract with an average annual value of $9.5 million.

Aug. 24, 2019: Lightning sign 2019 Stanley Cup champion and free-agent veteran forward Pat Maroon to a one-year, $900,000 contract.

Sept. 23, 2019: Lightning sign center Brayden Point to a three-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of $6.75 million.

Sept. 26, 2019: Point returns to skating with team after offseason surgery.

Oct. 3, 2019: Lightning open season with 5-2 win over Panthers.

Nov. 8, 2019: Lightning travel to Sweden for games vs. Buffalo. The trip brought the team, struggling with a 6-5-2 record, together in a new way, with right wing Nikita Kucherov telling the group it would win the Cup that year.

Pat Maroon scores against the Sabres in Stockholm.
Pat Maroon scores against the Sabres in Stockholm. [ JONAS LJUNGDAHL | Bildbyran via ZUMA Press ]

Feb. 10, 2020: Lightning defeat Blue Jackets 2-1 in overtime in first meeting since the first-round sweep.

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Feb. 16, 2020: Lightning trade defense prospect Nolan Foote, a first-round draft pick in 2019, and a conditional first-round pick to New Jersey for forward Blake Coleman.

Feb. 23, 2020: Lightning sign defenseman Zach Bogosian on a one-year deal from Buffalo.

Feb. 24, 2020: Lightning trade forward prospect Anthony Greco and a first-round pick in 2020 to San Jose for forward Barclay Goodrow and a third-round pick in 2020.

Feb. 29, 2020: Steven Stamkos has core surgery and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks.

March 12, 2020: NHL pauses the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Lightning were scheduled to play the Flyers that night at Amalie Arena.

An empty Amalie Arena is seen March 12, 2020, as the season is paused due to the pandemic.
An empty Amalie Arena is seen March 12, 2020, as the season is paused due to the pandemic. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

July 29, 2020: Lightning defeat Panthers in first exhibition win of the 2020 postseason in a fanless arena.

Aug. 11, 2020: Lightning defeat Blue Jackets in five-overtime Game 1 of first-round series on a goal by Point. The game was the fourth-longest in league playoff history, 150 minutes, 27 seconds.

Lightning players, bottom center, celebrate after Brayden Point scores against the Blue Jackets during the fifth overtime period in Game 1 of the first round in 2020.
Lightning players, bottom center, celebrate after Brayden Point scores against the Blue Jackets during the fifth overtime period in Game 1 of the first round in 2020. [ FRANK GUNN | AP ]

Aug. 19, 2020: Lightning clinch first-round series win over Blue Jackets with Game 5 overtime victory.

Aug. 31, 2020: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman seals double-overtime Game 5 win over Bruins to advance to Eastern Conference final.

Sept. 17, 2020: Lightning advance to Stanley Cup final with Game 6 win over Islanders in conference final.

Sept. 23, 2020: After missing 21 consecutive postseason games to injury, Stamkos scores on his first shot during his first shift in the Lightning’s 5-2 Game 3 Cup final win over Dallas.

Sept. 28, 2020: Lightning defeat Stars in Game 6 to win franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Hedman wins the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP.

Steven Stamkos hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lighting defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in 2020.
Steven Stamkos hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lighting defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in 2020. [ Marko Ditkun Special to the Times ]

Sept. 29, 2020: Lightning return to Tampa from Edmonton bubble with Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophies. The group spent 65 days in the two Canadian bubbles, Toronto (for the first two rounds) and Edmonton (the conference and Cup finals).

Sept. 30, 2020: Lightning celebrate Stanley Cup season with a boat parade down the Hillsborough River and with fans at Raymond James Stadium.

Victor Hedman hoists the Stanley Cup  with the University of Tampa minarets in the background as the sun sets toward the end of the first boat parade.
Victor Hedman hoists the Stanley Cup with the University of Tampa minarets in the background as the sun sets toward the end of the first boat parade. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Oct. 9, 2020: Lightning lose Kevin Shattenkirk (Anaheim), Carter Verhaeghe (Florida) and Bogosian (Toronto) in free agency.

Oct. 10, 2020: Stamkos undergoes second core surgery.

Dec. 8, 2020: NHL announces adjusted divisions, conferences and shortened 56-game season schedule for 2020-21 season.

Dec, 23, 2020: Kucherov will miss regular season after undergoing offseason hip surgery.

Dec. 27, 2020: Lightning trade forward Cedric Paquette and defenseman Braydon Coburn to Ottawa for cap flexibility.

Jan. 13, 2021: Lightning open season with win over Blackhawks in fanless Amalie Arena. They unveil 2019-20 Stanley Cup banner, promise to wait for fans to hoist it into the rafters.

Lightning players gather on the ice as the Stanley Cup championship banner is raised before the home opener Jan. 13, 2021, in Tampa.
Lightning players gather on the ice as the Stanley Cup championship banner is raised before the home opener Jan. 13, 2021, in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

March 13, 2021: Lightning welcome 3,800 fans back to Amalie Arena and raise Cup banner. Kucherov returns to team action for the first time since offseason hip surgery.

April 9, 2021: Lightning trade for Columbus defenseman David Savard in a three-team trade with the Red Wings.

April 23, 2021: Tampa Bay celebrates Champions Day with Lightning, Bucs, Rays and Rowdies trophies. The Stanley Cup, Lombardi Trophy, USL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy and the AL Championship Series William Harridge Trophy are present.

Trophies accumulated by Tampa Bay sports teams in 2020 as the mayor' offices make a “Champion’s Day” proclamation. From left is The William Harridge Trophy, won by the Rays; the Stanley Cup, won by the Lightning; the Lombardi Trophy, won by the Bucs; and the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy, won by the Rowdies.
Trophies accumulated by Tampa Bay sports teams in 2020 as the mayor' offices make a “Champion’s Day” proclamation. From left is The William Harridge Trophy, won by the Rays; the Stanley Cup, won by the Lightning; the Lombardi Trophy, won by the Bucs; and the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy, won by the Rowdies. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

April 27, 2021: Lightning clinch playoff berth with win over Blackhawks.

May 16, 2021: Lightning and Panthers open first round of playoffs with “Battle of Florida” for the first time. Tampa Bay win 5-4 on the road in a comeback.

May 26, 2021: Lightning close out series with Game 6 win.

Left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his goal, beating Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in Game 4 of the first round.
Left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his goal, beating Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in Game 4 of the first round. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

June 8, 2021: Lightning defeat Hurricanes and advancewith 2-0 Game 5 win.

June 25, 2021: Lightning advance to second straight Cup final with Game 7 win over Islanders.

June 28, 2021: Forward Alex Killorn breaks fibula in Game 1 of Cup final against Canadiens. After the season, he said he had a metal rod inserted into his left leg during surgery with the hope he could return if the series went long.

July 7, 2021: Lightning defeat Canadiens in Game 5 of the Cup final on a Ross Colton goal and clinch back-to-back Stanley Cup seasons. Vasilevskiy wins the Conn Smythe.

July 12, 2021: Lightning celebrate back-to-back Cup championships with another boat parade and a celebration at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa.

July 17, 2021: Goodrow is traded to Rangers for a seventh-round 2022 pick.

July 18, 2021: Lightning’s expansion draft protected list is released. They opt to protect an extra defenseman as one of their eight skaters and leave veteran forwards Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde unprotected.

July 21, 2021: Gourde selected in expansion draft by Kraken.

Popular Lightning center Yanni Gourde is taken by the Kraken in the expansion draft.
Popular Lightning center Yanni Gourde is taken by the Kraken in the expansion draft. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

July 27, 2021: Lightning trade Tyler Johnson to Blackhawks for a 2023 second-round pick and defenseman Brent Seabrook.

July 28, 2021: Lightning sign free-agent backup goaltender Brian Elliott. Bogosian returns on a three-year deal. The team announces an eight-year extension for Point valued at $75 million that begins in the 2022-23 season. It adds forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in free agency and loses Coleman (Calgary), Savard (Montreal) and Luke Schenn (Vancouver).

July 29, 2021: Lightning add veteran forward Corey Perry in free agency and sign defenseman Cal Foote to a two-year extension.

July 31, 2021: Lightning sign rookie forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk to three-year extensions.

Aug. 9, 2021: Lightning re-sign Colton ahead of arbitration to a two-year deal.

Oct. 11, 2021: Cooper signs three-year contract extension.

Oct. 12, 2021: Lightning raise second consecutive Stanley Cup banner at 2021-22 season opener against the Penguins.

Lightning players look on as the Stanley Cup banner is raised ahead of the season opener against the Penguins on Oct. 12, 2021.
Lightning players look on as the Stanley Cup banner is raised ahead of the season opener against the Penguins on Oct. 12, 2021. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Oct. 27, 2021: Kucherov is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks with lower-body injury after surgery. He was hurt in the third game of the season at Washington.

Nov. 21, 2021: Point is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury after slamming into the boards in Nov. 20 loss against the Devils.

Dec. 9, 2021: Cooper records 400th NHL career win in Game No. 659, against Toronto.

Dec. 16, 2021: Stamkos reaches 900 NHL career points in win over Senators.

Steven Stamkos (91) is named the No 2 star of the game as he picked up his 900th career point on Dec. 16, 2021.
Steven Stamkos (91) is named the No 2 star of the game as he picked up his 900th career point on Dec. 16, 2021. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Dec. 28, 2021: Point returns to lineup after recovering from shoulder injury.

Jan. 6, 2022: Kucherov returns to lineup and sets up two goals in win over Calgary.

Feb. 26, 2022: Lightning register 3-2 win over Predators at Nissan Stadium in franchise’s first outdoor game.

Steven Stamkos, right, joins the celebration after Nikita Kucherov (86) scores against the Predators in the second period of the Stadium Series game.
Steven Stamkos, right, joins the celebration after Nikita Kucherov (86) scores against the Predators in the second period of the Stadium Series game. [ MARK HUMPHREY | AP ]

March 18, 2022: Lightning trade Katchouk and Raddysh and a pair of first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Blackhawks for forward Brandon Hagel and a pair of fourth-round picks in 2022 and 2024.

March 20, 2022: Lightning trade forward Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in 2024 to Ottawa for forward Nick Paul.

March 21, 2022: Lightning trade future considerations to Arizona for forward Riley Nash.

April 14, 2022: Lightning clinch playoff berth (fifth consecutive postseason run) with 4-3 overtime win over Ducks.

April 21, 2022: Stamkos sets franchise record as all-time points leader, surpassing Marty St. Louis, in 8-1 win over Maple Leafs.

Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates after scoring his 954th career point to become the all-time Lightning leading scorer.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates after scoring his 954th career point to become the all-time Lightning leading scorer. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

May 2, 2022: Lightning record worst playoff loss in the Cooper era in first-round Game 1 against Maple Leafs, 5-0.

May 14, 2022: Paul has two goals in Game 7 win over Maple Leafs, setting up second-round series against Panthers. Point leaves in the first period with lower-body injury.

May 23, 2022: Lightning complete second-round sweep of Panthers.

June 5, 2022: Lightning record first win of Eastern Conference final series over Rangers.

June 11, 2022: Lightning complete series comeback with Game 6 win over Rangers and clinch a Cup final berth for the third straight season.

Lightning pose for photos with the Prince of Wales Trophy after beating the Rangers in the Eastern Conference final.
Lightning pose for photos with the Prince of Wales Trophy after beating the Rangers in the Eastern Conference final. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

June 20, 2022: In Game 3 at home, Lightning claim first win of Cup final against Colorado.

June 26, 2022: Lightning’s three-peat quest ends with Game 6 loss to the Avalanche at Amalie Arena. Colorado wins the Cup for first time since 2001.

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

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