Less than a year after the Stanley Cup was handed out, it’s time once again for the NHL to crown its champion.
It’ll be a familiar one — either the defending champion or the franchise that has done it a record 24 times. Beginning on Monday, June 28, it’ll be the Lightning and the Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
“They’re going to get the best team that they’ve played against so far and we’re going to get the best team that we’ve played against so far,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after his team advanced.
While the 2020 playoffs were interesting in their own right, this year’s playoffs are even funkier because it’s an all-Atlantic Division matchup (in normal times). It also features two teams that haven’t faced off since March 5, 2020, going for sports’ ultimate prize.
Here is everything you need to know to watch the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
Who is playing in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final?
The Canadiens advanced to the final round after knocking out the North Division champion Maple Leafs in seven, sweeping the Jets and then beating the NHL’s second-best team, the Golden Knights, in six. One day later, the Lightning advanced with a Game 7 win over the Islanders. The defending champs kicked off their 2021 run with 4-2 series win in the Battle of Florida with the Panthers before a five-game win over the Central Division’s top team, the Hurricanes.
MORE: How the Canadiens won Game 6 | How the Lightning won Game 7
Where is the 2021 Stanley Cup Final being played?
Unlike last year’s bubble, teams will be traveling across the border to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Games 1,2,5 and 7 will be in Tampa and Games 3,4 and 6 will be played in Montreal. The Canadian government and health officials provided an exemption for the semifinals to allow the Canadiens and Golden Knights to travel back and forth to Vegas. But like last year’s postseason, in Canada teams will be sectioned off from the public in a bubble and will be tested daily for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated.
What TV channels are the 2021 Stanley Cup Final games on?
United States (Game 1 and 2): NBCSN
United States (Games 3-7): NBC
Canada (Games 1-7): CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports
NHL Network will also have extensive live coverage throughout the Stanley Cup Final.
What is the 2021 Stanley Cup Final schedule?
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
|Date||Matchup||Time (TV channel)|
|Mon., June 28||at Tampa Bay||8 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Wed., June 30||at Tampa Bay||8 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Fri., July 2||at Montreal||8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|Mon., July 5||at Montreal||8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|*Wed., July 7||at Tampa Bay||8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|*Fri., July 9||at Montreal||8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
|*Sat., July 11||at Tampa Bay||7 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)|
(* If necessary)
Have the Lightning or Canadiens won the Stanley Cup before?
The Lightning are the defending champions, having defeated the Stars in the 2020 playoffs capper. It marked the second time the franchise won the Cup, with the other title coming in 2004 when it beat the Flames in seven games. That roster was led by Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards.
Montreal is the home of the NHL’s most storied franchise with 24 Cups and an NHL-best 23 since the league’s founding. The Canadiens most recently won it in 1993, when they were backstopped by Conn Smythe winner Patrick Roy. That team was the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, and it has been 10 years since a team north of the border (Canucks) was in the final round.
Who has won the Stanley Cup from 2000 through 2020?
The Lightning’s Pat Maroon has a chance to win back-to-back-to-back Stanley Cups; he was a member of the 2019 champion Blues and was on last year’s Lightning team.
|2020||Tampa Bay Lightning||Dallas Stars||Victor Hedman|
|2019||St. Louis Blues||Boston Bruins||Ryan O’Reilly|
|2018||Washington Capitals||Vegas Golden Knights||Alexander Ovechkin|
|2017||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||Sidney Crosby|
|2016||Pittsburgh Penguins||San Jose Sharks||Sidney Crosby|
|2015||Chicago Blackhawks||Tampa Bay Lightning||Duncan Keith|
|2014||Los Angeles Kings||New York Rangers||Justin Williams|
|2013||Chicago Blackhawks||Boston Bruins||Patrick Kane|
|2012||Los Angeles Kings||New Jersey Devils||Jonathan Quick|
|2011||Boston Bruins||Vancouver Canucks||Tim Thomas|
|2010||Chicago Blackhawks||Philadelphia Flyers||Jonathan Toews|
|2009||Pittsburgh Penguins||Detroit Red Wings||Evgeni Malkin|
|2008||Detroit Red Wings||Pittsburgh Penguins||Henrik Zetterberg|
|2007||Anaheim Ducks||Ottawa Senators||Scott Niedermayer|
|2006||Carolina Hurricanes||Edmonton Oilers||Cam Ward|
|2004||Tampa Bay Lightning||Calgary Flames||Brad Richards|
|2003||New Jersey Devils||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||J-S Giguere*|
|2002||Detroit Red Wings||Carolina Hurricanes||Nicklas Lidstrom|
|2001||Colorado Avalanche||New Jersey Devils||Patrick Roy|
|2000||New Jersey Devils||Dallas Stars||Scott Stevens|
* Conn Smythe winner was from the losing team in the Stanley Cup Final.