NHL

LOOK: Lightning raise Stanley Cup banner with fans in attendance at Amalie Arena

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The Tampa Bay Lightning opened the 2021 NHL season as the defending Stanley Cup champions. Normally, that would mean they’d get to raise their banner at their first home game, but the Lightning chose to wait until fans were able to be in attendance.

Months after opening night, the Lightning finally had their moment on Saturday and raised their 2019-20 Stanley Cup Champions before a game against the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning had played 10 home games prior to Saturday. Tampa Bay was able to defeat Nashville 6-3 thanks to a balanced offensive attack that featured six different goal scorers.

Tampa defeated the Dallas Stars in six games in the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, which took place inside of a bubble as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the team’s impressive Stanley Cup run, defenseman Victor Hedman won the Conn Symthe Trophy.

With two months of the 2021 season in the books, the Lightning have been one of the league’s most dominant teams. Their 19-5-2 record is only topped by the Carolina Hurricanes, who also play in the Central Division. But what makes Tampa Bay’s season even more impressive is the fact that they’re having all of this success without star forward Nikita Kucherov.

Kucherov registered 85 points (33 goals & 52 assists) last season, but he underwent hip surgery back in December and will miss the entire campaign.

This marks the second Stanley Cup banner for the Lightning, along with the 2003-04 Stanley Cup.



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