TAMPA BAY – On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning reminded the hockey world that they won the Stanley Cup twice in a row.
After a shock loss at the biggest hockey stadium in the first two games of the series in Denver, the Lightning looked very much like their usual home-ice dominators, thrashing the Colorado Avalanche en route to a 6-2 victory. reduced the deficit in the series to one game.
Everything seemed to be going the Tampa way in Game 3. The Lightning stumbled briefly at the net, conceding what looked like a Valery Nichushkin goal early in the first period before the score was canceled thanks to offside viewing.
After this luck, the Lightning soon turned on the pass, after Gabriel Landeskog’s power-play goal with two own markers, as Anthony Cirelli beat Darcy Kemper with a nimble sprint move and Ondrej Palat scored the puck. in the slot to give Tampa the lead before the break.
All hell broke loose in the second period as the Lightning completely crushed the Avalanche with attacking pressure as Nick Paul, Steven Stamkos and Patrick Maroon scored in quick succession to eliminate Kemper after the goaltender conceded five goals on 21 shots. .
Pavel Francouz wouldn’t have been too good either, as just minutes after Corey Perry entered the crease in the terrain, he sneaked behind the Aws backup, shot a rolling puck into an open cage, and extended the Lightning’s lead to 6-2 at the end of the match. frame.
However, the Avalanche would not have gone quietly, despite the big hole they dug themselves in two periods, throwing a flurry of pucks into the Lightning’s net and keeping the game mostly in the offensive zone.
But Colorado’s firepower was no match for Andrey Vasilevsky, who continued his stellar resurgence after a forgotten Game 2 by shutting the door and supporting the Lightning on their way to victory.
It wasn’t necessarily the Avalanche’s worst performance in Game 3, as they actually outclassed the Lightning by a 39-32 lead and showed glimpses of their usual brilliance despite an uneven scoreline. But Tampa used just about every chance they got, taking advantage of Kemper’s shaky performance to ensure the streak lasted to at least five games.
The Avalanche seemed to have a stranglehold on the series after two grueling performances in Denver. Lightning noticeably loosened that grip on Monday evening. And if they can keep showing their Game 3 moving forward, things could be a lot closer than they initially thought.