NHL season predictions: Will Lightning three-peat? Experts mixed on Stanley Cup winner

No team since the 1983 New York Islanders has won three Stanley Cups in a row. But after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the last two amid a pandemic and the challenges that followed, would anyone be surprised if they clinch the feat now that the NHL season looks more like a standard campaign?

Gone is the 56-game season, geographically formed divisions, strictly intra-division play and rinks without fans. The NHL as we have come to love it is back -- albeit with COVID-19 protocols, the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central Division and the Seattle Kraken making their debut as the league's 32nd club.

USA TODAY Sports has made its season predictions, and they include whether the Kraken make the playoffs, the division winners, the Final matchup, Cup winner and individual award winners.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL season 2021-22 predictions: Experts mixed on Stanley Cup winner