Stanley Cup Final: Lightning push playoff to Game 6, beating Avalanche 3-2
June 25, 2022
In Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 and remained in contention for a third straight title. As of now, the Lightning are trailing by 3-2 in the series.
The Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back after losing an emotional Game 4 at home to Colorado on an overtime goal by forward Nazem Kadri. In the loss, the Lightning claimed that the Avalanche had too many skaters on the ice.
Colorado was called for too many players on the ice with 2:43 remaining on Friday's game. During the power play, the Lightning held the puck long enough to prevent Colorado from pulling goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Despite the Avalanche's late barrage, they held on.
The Lightning just showed a champion-caliber performance throughout this NHL season. In the first round, they rallied back from a 3-2 deficit to Toronto. Also, they defeated the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals after falling behind 2-0.
If they win, this series victory will put them in a completely different category. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to win a Game 7 in the final after trailing 3-1.
Even after a lengthy season, fans were impressed to watch the Lightning team tackle the fast-paced Avalanche. Since the first round of the 2020 playoffs, Tampa Bay has played in 67 postseason games. In essence, that's an extra season.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper has been amazed by their determination. In potential elimination games this season, his team went 3-0.
Lightning vs. Avalanche game highlights
The Lightning announced before the game that Brayden Point would again be unavailable. There was a large hole in Tampa Bay's lines after he missed most of the Stanley Cup Final.
It was a nail-biting first period for the Lightning as they sought a third straight title. After Colorado committed a high-sticking penalty three minutes into the first period, Tampa's power-play unit took the ice. The Lightning's power-play was 1-14 going into Game 5 against the Avalanche, and they could not take advantage of this power play either.
A slashing penalty against Kadri put the Lightning on the power play again seven minutes into the first period. The second power play for Tampa Bay also ended without a goal.
During the first five minutes of the second period, both teams fought back and forth on the ice before the Avalanche tied the game on a rebound. During the third period, with Tampa Bay on the verge of overtime, the game quickly resembled Game 4's overtime period.
But, with 6:22 remaining, Ondrej Palat netted a goal to break a 2-2 tie, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots in front of loud fans who were hoping to mark the Avalanche's first trophy in 21 years.
The Lightning also scored goals from Nikita Kucherov and Jan Rutta. On the other side, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin netted goals for Colorado. In the third period, Makar's goal bounced off Cernak's skate and through Vasilevskiy's pads. In the end, Palat's shot slipped between Kuemper's pads.
With that goal, the Lightning extended the series back to Amalie Arena on Sunday for Game 6.