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Stamkos scores twice, Lightning head to Stanley Cup Final after beating Rangers 2-1

Hockey players wearing baseball caps pose for a photo. A trophy stands on a pedestal between them.
Chris O'Meara/AP
Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning pose with the Prince of Wales trophy after defeating the New York Rangers Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Eastern Conference final 4-2 over the New York Rangers. The Lightning will play the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final starting Wednesday.

Steven Stamkos scored two goals and the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year after beating the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final.

Stamkos put the Lightning ahead for good in the third period just 21 seconds after New York’s Frank Vatrano scored on the power play with the Lightning captain in the penalty box for holding.

Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 20 saves for the Lightning, who won the series 4-2 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche.

Colorado will host Game 1 of the best-of-7 series at Ball Arena on Wednesday.

Stanley Cup Final schedule
Wednesday, June 15: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 18: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET

Monday, June 20: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET

Wednesday, June 22: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET

*Friday, June 24: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET

*Sunday, June 26: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET

*Tuesday, June 28: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET

* if necessary