Stanley Cup: Tampa Bay Lightning defeats Colorado Avalanche 6-2
June 21, 2022
“There’s a reason why we’re here and why we won tonight,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
This is the team’s first win in a Stanley Cup Final game since 1919. The team lost their previous seven finals. They are now looking to repeat the result in Game 4 to complete their quest for the NHL’s first three-pear in 40 years.
After being limited to just 16 shots in the seven-goal loss in Denver, the team finally found a way to neutralize Colorado’s speed and outwit Avalanche’s goalie Darcy Kuemper to avoid being eliminated.
The Lightning had a 2-1 lead entering the second period and continued to display aggressive offense throughout the game. After getting roughed up late in the opening period, winger Nicholas Paul set himself on an Avalanche turnover in their own zone. Meanwhile, Rose Colton ended up finding Paul unguarded for the easy goal after, which was needed to give the Lighting a further lead, bringing the score to 3-1.
“He sucks it up, comes out, and scores the eventual game-winner,” as stated by Stamkos the team’s captain when he was asked about Paul’s winning performance. Stamkos himself managed to help the team by scoring his first points of the series with a goal and assist.
After three minutes since Paul scored, winger Gabriel Landeskog demonstrated his skill by netting his second power-play goal. He showed that he could be patient when the situation called for it by receiving the puck from Cale Makar the defensemen. This allowed him to walk right in and score his 10th goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The team’s goalie, Vasilevskiy, got back to form with 37 saves, including a big pad save early on J.T. Compher. He yielded a second power-play goal to Landeskog, who cut a two-goal deficit to 3-2 before Tampa Bay pulled away. Meanwhile, Hedman landed two assists and was a plus-3 after being a minus-4 in the first two games.
The Lightning's Setback
The Lightning appeared to be quite confident as Game 3 was getting started. However, things became quite stirred as Nikita Kucherov got injured.
Kucherov managed to score two assists and 26 points in 20 playoff games. He had to withdraw from the game after Avalanche defensemen Devon Toews cross-checked him in the third period. He was seen limping in the hallway to the locker room shortly after. Unfortunately, this rendered him unable to play further, and he did not return for the remaining minutes of the game.
Once the game was concluded, the Lightning’s coach, Jon Cooper, was asked about Kucherov’s status. He did not appear to have any update regarding the severity of the injury, however. “It’s a contact game, but guys know what they’re doing,” he said.
The Lighting is anticipating to tying the series in Game 4, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Tampa.