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Electric response: Lightning clobber Avalanche in Game 3

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Is it any wonder the Tampa Bay Lightning responded to a rocky start to the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals by handily beating the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3?

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The answer may be yes or no.

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In any event, the Lightning won Game 3 6-2, cutting the Avalanche’s lead to 2-1.

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It is clear that the Lightning are not just aiming for the top three Stanley Cup winners. This champion team continues to find ways to respond to difficult situations. They were losing 2-0 and looked uncertain back in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers. They didn’t flinch.

However, with path The Avalanche beat the Lightning in Game 2, with some wondering if the Cup final would be short and not so pleasant for Tampa Bay. Instead, it looks like we might be getting the battle many were hoping for.

The Lightning edged out the Avalanche 2-1 in the first period of Game 3

Going into Game 3, I couldn’t help but wonder: maybe the Lightning needed to score the first goal to really slow down the Avalanche?

Hm, no.

For the first 20 minutes, everything was more even. With little to nothing created in Game 2, the Lightning looked much better than the Avalanche (then Tampa Bay ran off with Game 3). For example: despite being behind for most of Game 2, the Bolts only landed 16 shots on goal. In the first period of Game 3, the Avalanche landed more shots on goal (14), but the Lightning were close (12).

Of course, the most important consideration on the scoreboard benefited Tampa Bay.

First, it seemed Valery Nichushkin scored another goal. Instead, it was annulled by an offside goal review.

(Honestly, it seemed like the right decision, but it was close.)

Give young Avs credit for getting rid of it. After an unsuccessful power game by the Lightning, the Avalanche scored at the expense of their own advantage.

The multiple defending champions then landed two hits in a row.

Much has been done about Anthony Cirellidefensive work. At times he was a black hole all attack when on the ice, how many goals are scored. That was more than enough as he slowed down or even wiped out some of the real stars during the playoffs.

However, that doesn’t mean that Cirelli and his line didn’t try to create an offense. They just didn’t get many rejections.

Keep working hard, though, and you’ll probably “make your luck” in the end. It happened when Cirelli’s great shot on goal led to a cool goal.

Less than two minutes later, we saw an example of a bold pass from Avs on the defensive, sometimes with its drawbacks. Devon Toews‘ pass was a little not up to Cale Makar, setting the Bolts counter. Once again, Tampa Bay’s top scorers showed great body and puck movement.

It was often Nikita Kucherov start the show. In this case, Ondrej Palat as well as Stephen Stamkos combined for tolling beauty.

Second Period: More Injuries to Watch, Bolts Pursue Kemper

In the third game of the Cup Final, injury situations have been added that are worth paying attention to. Nicholas Paul was in and out of the locker room trying to fix his lower body problem. Corey Perry was shocked after being awkwardly tangled up with Josh Manson.

Even with far from 100% Paul scored a useful goal 3-1. It will be part of a tense second period.

After the Lightning went up 3-1, Gabriel Landeskog scored his second powerplay goal in Game 3 for the Avalanche. Avs won once again Andrey Vasilevsky high on the blocker’s side. (Maybe it’s just one of those heads that just happen; maybe it’s something worth looking into.)

In game 2 Darcy Kemper reached the lockout with 16 saves. Lightning won’t make life easier for Kemper in Game 3.

To regain a two-goal lead, Steven Stamkos crept into the danger zone and scored a good 4-2 score. It is not surprising that Nikita Kucherov took into account two assists in the attack in the center of the frame.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

How much did all this cost Darcy Kemper? Hard to say. Somehow, one day Pat Maroon scored with a small backhand, the Avalanche replaced Kemper with Pavel Francouz.

Indeed, Kemper looked shaky at timesespecially after injury and missed time. It’s not entirely clear if the Kemper is a better option for the Avalanche compared to the Francoise. Neither one nor the other, of course, inspires the same confidence as Andrei Vasilevsky.

Vasilevsky’s few saves in the second period helped Tampa Bay to truly control the game, which could have been a closer “meet on the treadmill.”

Nice rebound from Lightning in game 3

Was this contest as one-sided as the score? One could argue that Game 2 was as close to a 7-0 matchup as you can get between the Lightning and Avalanche. Until the age of 40, it was not absolutely clear that this was dominance at the 6-2 level.

But Lightning completely punished the Avalanche in key moments during Game 3. This collection of stats captures some of that feeling.

We saw glimpses of Colorado’s speed, but managing dangerous odds really seemed like a recipe for Tampa Bay.

Add Nikita Kucherov to the list of Stanley Cup Finals injuries to watch out for?

While the Avs made several runs in the third period, Vasilevsky and the Lightning kept them from coming back. One of the more notable events may have been some of the hits.

The exchanges most likely to have an impact involve Nikita Kucherov.

First, Kucherov. caught Josh Manson with a dangerous punch. Shortly thereafter, Kucherov was hit by Devon Toews and cautiously approached.

Without a doubt, injuries are piling up for both the Avalanche and the Lightning as the Stanley Cup Finals approach.

2022 NHL Playoff Schedule: Stanley Cup Final


Game 1 – Avalanche 4, Lightning 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Avalanche 7, Lightning 0
Game 3 – Lightning 6, Avalanche 2
Game 4 – June 22: Avalanche at Lightning 8pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 5 – June 24: Lightning in an Avalanche, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 6 – June 26: Avalanche at Lightning 8pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 7 – June 28: Lightning in an Avalanche, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)

* – if it is needed

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

James O’Brien writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.


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