Andrei Vasilevskiy of Tyumen, Russia continued his remarkable streak on Wednesday in closing out a playoff series. In game five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Tampa Bay, Vasilevskiy made 22 saves as the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 to win the series four games to one. In the process, the Lightning won their third Stanley Cup title in franchise history, and the second in two years as they also beat the Dallas Stars last season in six games.
Vasilevskiy has now closed out five straight playoff series with a shutout. He blanked the Stars 2-0 in Edmonton last fall. That was followed by series-clinching shutouts over the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, and Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So, it should not have been a surprise that Vasilevskiy won the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 22 games, Vasilevskiy posted a record of 16 wins, seven losses, five shutouts, a goals against average of 1.90, and a save percentage of .937.
Vasilevskiy became the first goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since Jonathan Quick of Milford, CT, won the award with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. He also became the first European goaltender in National Hockey League history to receive the honor. Of the 13 Conn Smythe Trophy winners in the past, 11 were Canadian and two were American.
In game five in Tampa Bay on Wednesday, Lightning center Ross Colton of Robbinsville Township, NJ scored the lone goal of the game at 13:27 of the second period from Ryan McDonagh of Saint Paul, MN and David Savard of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Colton also became the first rookie to score a Stanley Cup game-winning-goal since Michael Rupp of Cleveland, OH accomplished the feat with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Rupp’s game-winner was the very first playoff goal of his career.