2021 Stanley Cup Final preview: Matchups, predictions for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens

Following one of the most unique regular seasons in NHL history, the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs represented a bit of a return to normalcy, as we had a 16-team bracket, and fans came back to arenas to varying degrees across the continent.

Fourteen of those teams have been eliminated, and we're on to the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens.

Usually, these two clubs play in the Atlantic Division; thanks to the realignment in 2021 due to COVID-19 protocols, Game 1 of the finals will be the first time they've met all season. Which team has the upper hand? Let's compare the two in eight categories and, of course, make our prediction on who will skate away with the Cup this summer.

Note: Advanced stats are from Hockey Reference, Natural Stat Trick and Evolving Hockey.