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Who will Lightning play in 2022 Stanley Cup Final?

Tampa Bay is back in the Cup Final for the third straight season. Who will the defending champs face this time around? Let’s take a look.

Victor Hedman #77 and Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate defeating the New York Rangers with a score of 4 to 1 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 07, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done what no team has been able to do since the 1980s: reach the Stanley Cup Final three straight times. The Lightning will look to three-peat for the first time since the New York Islanders back in the ‘80s, when they won it four straight seasons.

The Lightning have faced more adversity this postseason en route to the Cup Final. Tampa Bay needed seven games to take out the Toronto Maple Leafs by a goal. After that, the Lightning won the Battle of Florida by sweeping the Panthers before defeating the New York Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Final.

Now, the Lightning will face the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche in the Cup Final. Tampa Bay defeated the Dallas Stars in 2020 and the Montreal Canadiens in 2021, both seasons affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. To put a bit more legitimacy on the dynasty, the Lightning can take down Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and the Avs, who were the best team in the Western Conference in the regular season. Colorado swept two of three series to reach their first Cup Final since 2001.