With a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Division, first place in the Eastern Conference, and the 2018-2019 Presidents’ Trophy.
The Bolts accomplished this so quickly that no other Eastern Conference team has even managed to secure a playoff spot yet, and the only team to do so out of the West is the Calgary Flames.
This is the first time in franchise history that the Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Presidents’ Trophy.
The Lightning only needed 73 games to secure their place as the regular-season champions. To date, only one other team has needed fewer games to clinch the trophy, which is awarded to the NHL team with the most regular season points.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 19, 2019
The Lightning currently sit at 116 points, and have the potential to eclipse the record for most regular season points since the inception of the Presidents’ Trophy in the 1985-86 season. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings currently hold that honor with 131 points.
However, as any fan of the Washington Capitals can attest, the Presidents’ Trophy is no sure sign of winning the Stanley Cup. Only eight teams have won both in the 33 seasons since the Presidents’ Trophy was introduced. The last team to win both was the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. The last and only Eastern Conference team to do it was the 1993-94 New York Rangers.
In other record-breaking news, Steven Stamkos scored his 384th career goal Monday night to make him the franchise leader in goals for the Lightning, making him one of only three active players who top their franchise scoring records. Alex Ovechkin (Capitals) and William Karlsson (Golden Knights) are the other two.
You could say the Lightning are cruising to the top. Just ask backup goaltender Louis Domingue, who wheeled into the victorious locker room on a motorbike after Monday’s win.
— p – Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 19, 2019
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