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Maroon 3-peat? Lightning forward can join elite Cup company

July 6, 2021 GMT
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) as Canadiens defenceman Brett Kulak (77) looks on during the third period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup final in Montreal, Monday, July 5, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) as Canadiens defenceman Brett Kulak (77) looks on during the third period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup final in Montreal, Monday, July 5, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) celebrates his goal past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) as Canadiens defenceman Brett Kulak (77) looks on during the third period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup final in Montreal, Monday, July 5, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Patrick Maroon signed with the St. Louis Blues in the summer of 2018 to play in front of young son Anthony and try to bring the Stanley Cup back to his hometown.

After accomplishing that in 2019, he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning and helped them hoist the Cup in 2020. One more Lightning win and Maroon becomes just the fourth player in NHL history and the first since 1964 to win the Stanley Cup three seasons in a row with two different teams.

“It’s a great achievement,” Maroon said Monday morning. “It would be an amazing accomplishment, that’s for sure. .... It’s exciting, though, to be talked about like that.”

Maroon tried to carve out his own place in history in Game 4 a few hours later, scoring the tying goal with 6:12 left in regulation. But Montreal won in overtime to send the series back to Tampa for Game 5 and his next opportunity to three-peat.

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Ed Litzenberger was the last to accomplish such a feat, with Chicago in 1961 and then Toronto from 1962-64. Even if he’d need another ring next year to match Litzenberger, Maroon would be in a class of his own to be the first player to go three-for-three in different uniforms since the expansion era began in 1967 and expanded the league beyond six teams.

Teammates don’t think it’s any coincidence Maroon has played on so many winning teams.

“He’s got a savviness that he brings with him into the locker room, and it rubs off to guys and brings a certain level of confidence,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “Not over the top, but just enough to know that if you do the right things, you play to your team’s structure, you have a chance to win every night and he keeps that group, our group pulling in the same direction.”

Now facing Maroon as a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, former Blues teammate Joel Edmundson said the 33-year-old forward brings a winning approach on and off the ice.

“He’s one of those guys that gets guys laughing in the dressing room, and obviously he’s a big part of their forward group,” Edmundson said. “He’s going to hold on to the puck down low and play in the offensive end behind the net. He’s just obviously a big body and a good locker room guy.”

KILLORN SITS

Lightning forward Alex Killorn missed a third consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. Killorn took warmup but was scratched with Mathieu Joseph remaining in the lineup. Joseph set up Maroon for the tying goal Monday night.

CANADIENS CHANGES

When making a handful of lineup changes for Game 4, coach Dominique Ducharme said the Canadiens “have depth” and “have options.” He wasn’t wrong, and those moves paid off.

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Jake Evans went in for Jesperi Kotkaniemi up front, and Alexander Romanov and Brett Kulak replaced Erik Gustafsson and Jon Merrill on defense. Evans set up Romanov’s third-period goal.

ELSA WARNING

A tropical storm warning was issued Monday for Tampa and surrounding counties with Elsa churning through Cuba and toward Florida.

It’s not likely to affect Game 5 on Wednesday night: The worst of the storm was expected to be closer to Atlanta — former home of the Thrashers — than Tampa at the scheduled start time.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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