How to watch Lightning-Canadiens Stanley Cup Final 2021: TV schedule, things to know

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The Stanley Cup Final is scheduled to begin Monday, when the Montreal Canadiens will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road at Amalie Arena.

In the semifinals, the Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to reach the Final for the first time since 1993. The Lightning knocked out the New York Islanders in seven games during their semifinal series.

The Lightning are looking to win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season, while the Canadiens have not won since their last Final appearance.

Here is everything you need to know about the series, which could last until July 11 if it goes seven games.

STANLEY CUP PICKS: Here's how Lightning-Canadiens series will play out

2021 Stanley Cup Finals schedule

The games will shown on NBCSN and can be streamed on Peacock and on Fubo TV.

Game 1: Mon., June 28, 8 p.m. ET, Canadiens at Lightning, NBCSN

Game 2: Wed., June 30, 8 p.m. ET, Canadiens at Lightning, NBCSN

Game 3: Fri., July 2, 8 p.m. ET, Lightning at Canadiens. NBC

Game 4: Mon., July 5, 8 p.m. ET, Lightning at Canadiens, NBC

Game 5: Wed., July 7, 8 p.m. ET, Canadiens at Lightning, NBC*

Game 6: Fri., July 9, 8 p.m. ET, Lightning at Canadiens, NBC*

Game 7: Sun., July 11, 7 p.m. ET, Canadiens at Lightning, NBC*

* = If necessary

A view of an official game puck with the Stanley Cup logo
A view of an official game puck with the Stanley Cup logo

Path to Lord Stanley's Cup

This year's season and playoffs were adjusted to account for the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to cross-border travel restrictions, the league temporarily realigned into four divisions with no conferences.

The first two rounds of the playoffs were intra-divisional matchups. During the semifinals, the four remaining teams were reseeded based on regular-season record.

The Lightning finished the regular season with 75 points, third in the Central Division. It took six games for the Lightning to get past the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs. Then, they beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round in five games to set up the matchup with the Islanders.

The Canadiens finished the regular season fourth in the North Division with 59 points. They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games (first round) and Winnipeg Jets in four games (second round) to then meet Vegas.

What is the goalie matchup?

The Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy and Canadiens' Carey Price have played every minute in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy is likely going to win the Vezina Trophy this season. Price, who has won an Olympic gold medal but never has won a Stanley Cup, struggled early this season, leading to a goalie coach change. He also missed the end of the regular season with a concussion. Both have been brilliant in the playoffs, with very close statistics. Price is 12-5 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Vasilevskiy is 12-6, 1.94, .936 and has four shutouts.

Who are the coaches?

The Canadiens are the third consecutive team to reach the Final after an in-season coaching change. But Montreal's situation is different from St. Louis' Craig Berube and Dallas' Rick Bowness because Dominique Ducharme had never been a head coach in the NHL before he replaced Claude Julien in February. And he hasn't been behind the bench since Game 2 of the semifinals because of COVID-19 protocol. Luke Richardson will be the interim coach until Ducharme returns in Game 3 of the Final. The Lightning are led by Jon Cooper, who has a 384-197-53 regular-season record with the Lightning, with seven playoff berths.

What's the matchup to watch?

Special teams: The Lightning have connected on the power play 37.7% of the time in the postseason. The Canadiens have killed off penalties 93.5% of the time. The Lightning have given up nine power-play goals to the Canadiens' three. The Lightning have scored 20 power-play goals to the Canadiens' nine.

Who are players to watch?

Lightning: Forward Brayden Point put together a nine-goal goal streak during the second and third rounds. Forward Nikita Kucherov is leading all playoff scorers with 27 points. He missed the entire regular season after hip surgery and missed all but one shift of Game 6 last round with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Victor Hedman is a Norris Trophy finalist for the fourth consecutive season.

Canadiens: Rookie Cole Caufield has four goals and seven points in his last eight games. Leading scorer Tyler Toffoli is among the former Stanley Cup winners added by general manager Marc Bergevin since last season. The others are forwards Corey Perry and Eric Staal, defenseman Joel Edmundson and backup goalie Jake Allen.

Statistic to watch

The Lightning have scored first 14 times, going 12-2. The Canadiens have done it 13 times, going 11-2. Montreal is 1-3 when giving up the first goal and Tampa Bay is 0-4.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stanley Cup Final 2021: Lightning-Canadiens TV schedule, how to watch