Tampa Bay Lightning has won three Stanley Cups during their history as a team. They won their first in 2003-04, and then won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2019-20 and 2020-2021. They reached the Stanley Cup final again in 2021-22 but lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently one of the best teams in the NHL and have won two of the last three Stanley Cups. Despite their recent success, the team wasn’t always that good, and only won one other Stanley Cup before their current run of success.
This guide is going to take a closer look at each of the times Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup, who was on the team, and the journey that each team had to take in order to win.
- The Tampa Bay Lighting won three Stanley Cups, with the first coming in the 2003-04 season. They won in game 7 against the Calgary Flames.
- The next Stanley Cup win for the Lightning came in the 2019-20 season. They beat the Dallas Stars in 6 games.
- Tampa Bay’s next Stanley Cup win came the following season in 2020-21 when they beat the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games.
2004 Stanley Cup Champions
The first Stanley Cup championship for the team came in the 2003-04 season. The team was made up of players like Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle, and Dave Andreychuk, just to name a few.
But the best player and heart of the team was Martin St. Louis. He scored 94 points in the regular season, which was the most in the NHL, and this helped him win the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player.
Heading into the playoffs, the Lightning were the #1 seed in the East. In the playoffs, they beat the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Philadelphia Flyers to reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they would face the Calgary Flames.
The series was a back and forth battle as teams traded wins for most of the series, and a few of the games even went to overtime. Ultimately, the Lighting were able to win 2-1 in Game 7 to win their first ever Stanley Cup.
2020 Stanley Cup Champions
The next Stanley Cup-winning season for the team was 2019-20. The team included players like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. They were a well-rounded team with plenty of talented players across their lineup.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the season was canceled on March 12th 2020 and the league decided to modify the playoff format given the circumstances, and 24 teams competed. The Lightning were given a first-round bye due to their performance before the regular season.
They had the second highest points-percentage in the conference at the time of the season being cut short. In the modified playoffs, they advanced through the round robin, and then beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders to make the final.
In the Stanley Cup Final, they met the Dallas Stars. There were a few close games, but the Lighting seemed to be the stronger team and defeated the Stars to win the Stanley Cup. Kucherov had 27 assists in the playoffs, which is the 5th most of all time for a single playoffs.
2021 Stanley Cup Champions
The team didn’t need to wait long for their next championship, as it came the following season. The season was shortened due to the pandemic, but the Lighting still proved themselves as one of the best teams as they got into the playoffs as the #3 seed in the Central division.
The team featured many of the same players as the previous season. In the playoffs, the team was able to beat the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Islanders to again advance to the Stanley Cup. They then went on to beat the Montreal Canadiens in the final.
This Stanley Cup Final matchup would normally not be possible as both teams are from the Eastern Conference, but the realigned divisions for the shortened season allowed it to take place.
While winning two Stanley Cups in a row is already impressive, the team almost made it a three-peat but ultimately lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals the following season.
Here are a few commonly asked questions about Tampa Bay and the Stanley Cup in general, as well as their answers.
How long did it take Tampa Bay to win their first Stanley Cup?
The Tampa Bay Lighting became an NHL team in 1992 and they won their first Stanley Cup in their 12th season as a franchise.
Which NHL team has won the most Stanley Cups?
The team with the most Stanley Cup wins in history is the Montreal Canadiens. They have won an astonishing 24 Stanley Cups, with their most recent win coming in the 1992-93 season. Coincidentally, that was the first season that the Tampa Bay Lighting were an NHL team.
Throughout their 20+ years as an NHL team, the Tampa Bay Lighting have hoisted the Stanley Cup on three separate occasions. They are one of the best teams in the NHL currently, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them win another one soon.
Are there any other interesting facts or pieces of information you think I should have included in this article? If so, leave me a comment below!About Kale