The Tampa Bay Lightning came back from a 3-2 series deficit to take down the Calgary Flames in 7 games to win the Stanley Cup! This 3-2 series deficit wasn't the first challenge this lightnight squad faced during the playoffs. In round 1, they faced the number 8 seed Buffalo Sabres who jumped off to a great start by winning the first two games in Tampa with great goaltending and timely scoring. This could definitely deflate some teams but not the president trophy winning lightning squad. They went on to win the next 2 games in Buffalo and finally winning the series in 6 games. "Losing the first 2 games at home was tough but we were always confident that we were going to turn things around. We have a lot of veterans on this team and to much fire power not to come back and at least make it a close series." said mid season acquisition Pavel Datsyuk
Round 2 of the playoffs is where the lightning actually had no difficulties at all. They swept the Jets while outscoring them 18-7 in the series. "It's kinda funny" said G.M. Lamarche, "I was looking at our roster and felt we could compete in all facets of the game except for one area and that was our depth and talent at center. I looked at our division rival Jets team and saw Malkin and Kopitar as their 1 2 punch and it scared me. That fear lead to us trading for superstar Pavel Datsyuk so that we could try and match them at center and hopefully have an edge against all the other teams down the middle."
In the conference finals, they faced a loaded sens team that was firing on all cylinders after scoring at least 5 goals in 4 of the 7 games against the high octane offensive capitals. The sens and lightning exchanged wins in the first 4 games before the sens became the first team to win 2 in a row by winning game 5 and taking a 3-2 series lead. Needing to shake things up, now on the brink of elimation, coach Maurice moved leading scorer Jiri Hudler to the 2nd line while moving up rookie sensation Filip Forsberg to the first line. The little tweak to the lineup definitely worked as Tampa went on to win games 6 and 7 while scoring 11 goals combined to close out the series.
Lastly, we have the Stanley Cup final against the Calgary Flames. The lightning start off by taking care of business at home winning the first 2 games with an overall 8 to 5 goals advantage. Unfortunately for the lightning, they endured some injuries to star players Pavel Datsyuk and Erik Johnson losing them both until game 6. The cost of losing those players and a very resilient and talented flames squad resulted in 3 straight wins for Calgary. Before game 5, when the series was tied 2-2, coach Maurice realized that his star netminder was starting to look fatigue which lead to a very bold decision to start Eddie Lack in game 5. Maurice had this to say after losing game 5, 2-1 in overtime: "Eddie has been a great goaltender all year for us. Any time Quickie has needed a rest or had a bad start, Lack all season long stepped in with great goaltending giving us a chance to win every time he was between the pipes. He did not disapoint in this game, our offense has been stagnant since a couple key guys went down but they should be back for game 6 and with a rested Jonathan Quick it's time we take care of business." Take care of business they did, allowing just 3 goals combined in game 6 and 7 while scoring 7 and winning the Stanley Cup!