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Lightning lead series 3-0, on verge of consecutive NHL titles


Tyler Johnson scored twice as Tampa Bay are one win away from claiming back-to-back Stanley Cup titles after the Lightning clobbered the Montreal Canadiens 6-3 in game three of the Stanley Cup finals on Friday night.

Johnson scored twice on the backhand in the second and third periods and Nikita Kucherov delivered a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who seized a commanding 3-0 series lead.

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The Lightning can win their second NHL championship in nine months with a victory in game four on Monday at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The Lightning have outclassed the Canadiens using their superior speed, offensive skills and playoff experience in this Stanley Cup final which returned to Canada on Friday night for the first time in a decade.

Montreal have been offensively challenged, relying mainly on their youngest players for goals and their goaltender Carey Price has been outplayed by his Lightning counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning netminder made 32 saves Friday in front of the pandemic-limited crowd of 3,500 as the series shifted to Montreal which hosted its first Stanley Cup final game since the Canadiens won their most recent Cup in 1993.

Once again the Lightning got offensive production from their defence as Czech Jan Rutta and Sweden’s Victor Hedman opened the scoring with long shots from the point to give Tampa a quick 2-0 lead less than four minutes into the first. 

The Lightning defence have scored five goals in the series which is as many as the entire Canadiens team has scored.

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