NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup final

For the third time in its history after 2004 and 2015, the Tampa Bay Lightning will compete in the Stanley Cup final. The Floridians validated their ticket Thursday night in Edmonton against the New York Islanders (2-1 ap), their sixth overtime victory in these play-offs. A total only exceeded by three teams in history, the last in 2002 (Carolina, 7).

This final of the Eastern Conference ends with four victories to two for the Lightning, which always had the hand in the series (2-0 then 3-1). It is Anthony Cirelli, 23, who released Tampa Bay (74th), dominating in this game (48 shots against 27).

Previously, Devon Toews (1-0, 5th) had given hope to the Islanders by opening the scoring, but Victor Hedman quickly put the Lightning up (1-1, 7th). Then the goalies dominated the rest of regulation time.

« We were very close, we saw the top of the mountain but we did not manage to climb on it », regretted Islanders coach Barry Trotz. For having climbed it, the players of the Lightning realized « The dream that all kids have », summarized Cirelli.

The first meeting of the final will take place on Saturday, still in Edmonton. Tampa Bay and the Dallas Stars are looking for the second title in their franchise history, after 1999 for Dallas and 2004 for Tampa Bay.

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