Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 Greatest Moments In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat the Calgary Flames To Become Stanley Cup Champions

Date: June 7, 2004

As many Tampa Bay Lightning fans know by now, the Tampa Bay Lightning had a long and arduous journey on their way to the Stanley Cup. The Lightning would have to defeat three other teams before they would even have the opportunity to hold Lord Stanley’s Cup high above their heads.

Unfortunately for the Tampa Bay Lightning, it would be their final opponent who would give them the most trouble. The Tampa Bay Lightning were able to force a Game Seven with a 3-2 double overtime victory thanks to a goal from Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis. Now the pressure was on. The Tampa Bay Lightning now had an opportunity to bring home their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and making matters even more amazing, they had an opportunity to do it in front of their home town fans.

The Tampa Bay Lightning took the ice in the first period like a team on a mission. This was the end of the line, either win tonight or have their Stanley Cup dreams dashed for another consecutive season. Needless to say, the Lightning were ready to bring the thunder.

Just over the 12 minute mark in the First Period, the Tampa Bay Lightning would find themselves heading to the Power Play as Flames left wing Oleg Saprykin would find himself headed to the box for two minutes for Tripping. Just over a minute and a half into the Power Play and Lightning left wing Ruslan Fedotenko would strike first blood for the Bolts.

As the remaining time in the first period continued to tick off the clock, neither the Lightning nor the Flames would be able to pierce the others’ veil and put the puck into the back of the net. When the Lightning made their way back out on the ice for the second period, they were prepared to keep the momentum on their side and do whatever it would take in order to keep the Flames held at bay.

At 14:38 in the second period, it would once again be Ruslan Fedotenko who would beat Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff and put the puck in the back of the net. Fedotenko would receive a pass from Vincent Lecavalier and without hesitation take the shot from the slot and put it in the back of the net. This would extend the Lightning’s lead over the Flames to two.

In the third period, the Calgary Flames could feel the Stanley Cup slowly slipping through their fingers. The Flames would put 10 shots on goal in the third period. This was more than their first two periods of play combined. Eventually, the Flames would catch the break they had been waiting for.

The Flames found themselves on the Power Play as Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt would head to the box for two minutes for Interference. Just under one minute into the Power Play and the Flames would cut the Lightning’s lead to one lone goal with a goal from Flames center Craig Conroy.

Unfortunately for the Flames, their surge of offense in the Third Period would not be good enough to best Lightning netminder Nikolai Khabibulin for a second time. Ultimately, the Tampa Bay Lightning would bring home their first Stanley Cup victory in franchise history.

Thanks to his stellar performance in the postseason, Lightning center Brad Richards would be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for the Most Valuable Player of the Playoffs. More importantly, Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk would get to do something he had been waiting 22 years to accomplish. Andreychuk would be able to hold Lord Stanley’s Cup high above his head; he had finally reached the top of the mountain.

As you can see, the fans who jam-packed the then-St. Pete Times Forum continued to scream at the top of their lungs for their Tampa Bay Lightning. The true believers who always knew the Lightning had what it takes to get the job done were finally proved right and the cheers simply erupted from the crowd.

No matter what happens and what waits for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they continue on their journey, this moment will forever be engrained on the hearts of Tampa Bay Lightning fans everywhere and most definitely belongs on the list of the 50 Greatest Moments in Tampa Bay Lightning History.

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