NHL Stanley Cup Final 2021: Times, TV channels, how to watch Lightning vs. Canadiens

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.

MORE: Watch the Stanley Cup Final on fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What is the 2021 Stanley Cup Final schedule?

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens

DateMatchupTime (TV channel)
Mon., June 28at Tampa Bay8 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Wed., June 30at Tampa Bay8 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Fri., July 2at Montreal8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Mon., July 5at Montreal8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Wed., July 7at Tampa Bay8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Fri., July 9at Montreal8 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Sat., July 11at Tampa Bay7 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.

YearChampionFinalistConn Smythe
2020Tampa Bay LightningDallas StarsVictor Hedman
2019St. Louis BluesBoston BruinsRyan O’Reilly
2018Washington CapitalsVegas Golden KnightsAlexander Ovechkin
2017Pittsburgh PenguinsNashville PredatorsSidney Crosby
2016Pittsburgh PenguinsSan Jose SharksSidney Crosby
2015Chicago BlackhawksTampa Bay LightningDuncan Keith
2014Los Angeles KingsNew York RangersJustin Williams
2013Chicago BlackhawksBoston BruinsPatrick Kane
2012Los Angeles KingsNew Jersey DevilsJonathan Quick
2011Boston BruinsVancouver CanucksTim Thomas
2010Chicago BlackhawksPhiladelphia FlyersJonathan Toews
2009Pittsburgh PenguinsDetroit Red WingsEvgeni Malkin
2008Detroit Red WingsPittsburgh PenguinsHenrik Zetterberg
2007Anaheim DucksOttawa SenatorsScott Niedermayer
2006Carolina HurricanesEdmonton OilersCam Ward
2005
2004Tampa Bay LightningCalgary FlamesBrad Richards
2003New Jersey DevilsMighty Ducks of AnaheimJ-S Giguere*
2002Detroit Red WingsCarolina HurricanesNicklas Lidstrom
2001Colorado AvalancheNew Jersey DevilsPatrick Roy
2000New Jersey DevilsDallas StarsScott Stevens

* Conn Smythe winner was from the losing team in the Stanley Cup Final.

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