And then there were two. After three exciting rounds of hockey, we are down to the last two teams standing in the Stanley Cup Final. One of them is not surprising at all, while the other is a team that most people didn’t see coming. This is familiar territory for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who come into the Final as the defending champions. The Montreal Canadiens are a surprise package that have hockey fans north of the border excited about seeing a Canadian team in with a shot at bringing Lord Stanley home. Let’s take a look at the schedule, while also taking a closer look at how the two teams arrived in the Stanley Cup Final so you can start getting ready to place your bets against their Stanley Cup odds.
2021 Stanley Cup Final: Series’ Schedule and Analysis | NHL Betting
2021 Stanley Cup Schedule
- Game 1: Mon., June 28 Montreal @ Tampa Bay, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- Game 2: Wed., June 30 Montreal @ Tampa Bay, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- Game 3: Fri., July 2 Tampa Bay @ Montreal, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- Game 4: Mon., July 5 Tampa Bay @ Montreal, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- *Game 5: Wed., July 7 Montreal @ Tampa Bay, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- *Game 6: Fri., July 9 Tampa Bay @ Montreal, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
- *Game 7: Sun., July 11 Montreal @ Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
* If necessary
Tampa Bay Lightning Path to the Final
This may be the second straight season that the Lightning have made it to the Final, but this year’s journey has been far from smooth. Things started out well enough for Tampa, as they came out and won their opening two games in the First Round versus the Florida Panthers. Things went back and forth in the series after that, but the Lightning went on to win in 6.
They followed a similar pattern in Round Two versus the Carolina Hurricanes, opening up the series by winning Games 1 and 2. They lost Game 3, but the Lightning bore down hard and won the next two games to win the series in 5.
The semi-final proved to be the toughest series of all for Tampa, as they came up against a determined New York Islanders squad. This series went back and forth all the way, going to a Game 7, which the Lightning won by the slimmest of margins, taking it 1-0.
Montreal Canadiens Path to the Final
The Canadiens improbable run to the final was almost over before it even began. They went into the First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs and found themselves in a 1-3 hole that no one but the most ardent Canadiens fan believed they could dig out of. Dig out they did, taking the series in 7 games.
Montreal really hit their stride in Round Two, where they faced the Winnipeg Jets, who came in hot after closing out their opening round with a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers. That momentum was soon lost, though, as the Canadiens swept past the Jets.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all came in the semi-finals, with the Canadiens going against the heavily favored Vegas Golden Knights. Montreal lost Game 1, but they bounced back and took the next two. Vegas evened it up in Game 4, but were no match for the Canadiens, who won the next two to take the series in 6.