The Lightning woke up in Game Three to make this Stanley Cup Final interesting. The Colorado Avalanche got slammed 6-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final. It was as to be expected as the Lightning lost both games in Colorado, the last one in rough fashion, so it makes sense that getting the hometown crowd back would do them a favor.
The Avalanche started strong. Val Nichushkin started things off with a goal but it was quickly called back for offsides. Gabe Landeskog was able to convert on the Avs’ power play to give his team a hopeful 1-0 lead:
Sadly, Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat had answered at the 13:03 mark and 14:54 mark accordingly. With that, the Lightning took a 1-2 lead out of the first period. There was hope for Avalanche going into the second period, they still outshot the Lightning 14 to 12 in the first. They just needed some extra umph into the second.
That did not really pan out for them. Nick Paul, who left the first period looking injured, scored another one for the Lightning just a minute into the second period to make this a 1-3 ball game. Gabe Landeskog answered back once more with another powerplay goal 3 minutes later:
Captain Landeskog tried his best to rally the troops but the Lightning were on them after that. Steve Stamkos and Pat Maroon added a few goals of their own midway through the second. That caused Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar to swap out Darcy Kuemper, who allowed 5 goals on 22 shots, for Pavel Francouz midway through the second. Corey Perry broke past him on a powerplay 3 minutes later to get this game at a 2-6 score. The Avalanche still put up a good amount of shots in the middle frame but nothing they could get past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Avalanche continued to keep their energy up in the third but it just wasn’t enough. There were penalties called left and right, plenty on the Avs but they managed to stop all the Lightning’s chances – kept them to one-for-six on the powerplay tonight. On the other side, the Avalanche had great opportunities on their own man advantages – one of which they pulled Francouz with 4 minutes to go for an extra advantage on the powerplay – yet they could not get anything into the net.
The Avalanche played well, the Lightning just got onto their tricks and contained them better than they have all series. They were getting in the way of Landeskog and Cale Makar. Every step of the way they were intercepting Markar at some of his most dangerous moments. They were on top of every chance they got. They found a way to gain control of the game and they did it. One loss isn’t gonna tank the Avalanche, I think they’ll be just fine. They just need to shake off their feathers and move on. No one expected them to sweep, they take one L here and just find a way to get around the Lightning in the next one. Game Four goes down Wednesday night and it is going to be a doozy.
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Featured Image: Colorado Avalanche Twitter