They may have lost one arm at the Stanley Cup in Denver, but the Tampa Bay Lightning can still regain their grip.
Refusing to lay down, the Lightning responded to consecutive defeats at height with a crushing 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night in Game 3, improving their standings and now trailing 2-1 in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals.
Tampa Bay’s leaders Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat led the more controlled home-ice games with two points each. With two major assists, Kucherov became the fourth player in league history to score 25 points in three straight postseasons. Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Brian Trottier are others.
Anthony Cirelli, Nick Paul, Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry scored other goals for the Lightning, who now lead the series quite noticeably in 5-on-5 total goals despite a huge struggle in Colorado.
Perry became the first player in NHL history to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Finals with a fourth other franchise with his insurance marker on man advantage, while Maroon is now scoring goals in all four series on his usual run to the Stanley Cup. The final.
It was the Maroon marker that seemed to best represent the two-player strategy Lightning used to masterfully break the Avalanche in transition:
Andrey Vasilevsky settled in after a poor start to the streak, as well as the first period of Game 3, turning back into the dangerous player he was expected to be. He made 37 saves on 39 shots and reduced the Avalanche to one scorer, captain Gabriel Landeskog.
Vasilevsky’s opponent, Darcy Kemper, was replaced by Pavel Frankuz after he conceded the Lightning’s fifth goal from 13 shots.
The Lightning will have a chance to tie Wednesday’s two-game series in Game 4 at the Amalia Arena.
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