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Stanley Cup Final Game 4 preview: Lightning need to lean on goaltending advantage to even series

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After losing the first two games of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to come on the board with a 6-2 win in Game 3. What made the Lightning different was their ability to test Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy. Camper. Coming to the series I chose Lightning to win because of their network advantage. Andrey Vasilevsky has been the best goaltender on the planet for several years, and Kemper had a hard time in the postseason.

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This advantage of the Bolts was fully shown in the third game.

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More than once Vasilevsky stopped what seemed like a sure goal. Unlike the first two games in Denver, he played a full 60 minutes at home in Game 3. According to the Natural Stat Trick, he finished the game with an above-average 1.47 goals saved against 3.47 expected goals.

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At the other end of the court, Kemper not only failed to make a big save, but also failed to come up with the relatively easy stops he probably should have made. Anthony Cirelli lost control of the puck at halftime and it slipped over Kemper’s legs and into the net. Pat Maroon hit Kemper from the short side and scored from a tight angle. So, with Colorado down 5-2 in Game 3, Kemper lost in the second period. By that point, he had conceded 2.28 goals more than expected against 2.72 goals against, according to the Natural Stat Trick.

It was a bad night for Kemper, and she continued a recent period of nasty play for the Colorado goaltender.

  • In his last seven starts since Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues, Kemper has conceded at least three goals five times.
  • In this stretch, Kemper conceded 21 goals on 147 shots, which is 0.857 percent of shots.
  • Throughout these playoffs, Kemper only made 22.7 shots per game. Despite such a small workload, he scored a disastrous, above-average 6.01 goals. This is the last place among the 30 goalkeepers who took the ice in the playoffs.

However, there is reason to believe that Kemper could make a difference. In the regular season, Kemper finished fourth in the NHL with an above-average 25.19 goals saved. The difference, however, is that Kemper just didn’t look comfortable from the second half of the series against the Blues.

In contrast, Vasilevskiy has conceded two or fewer goals five times in his last seven matches. Throughout the 2022 postseason, Vasilevskiy is fourth in above-average goals saved at 5.09 after a disastrous 7-0 loss to the Avalanche in Game 2.

With the Stanley Cup Finals now just one win away, the Lightning must keep putting Kemper to work, and they didn’t do much in Denver. In those first two games, Tampa Bay scored a total of 2.80 expected goals, with only one shot left to win Game 1.

No position in hockey has more control over the outcome of a game than the goaltender, and luckily for the Lightning, this is their only clear advantage over the Avalanche. If Tampa Bay is going to come back and win this Stanley Cup Final, they’ll have to take advantage of it by seasoning Kemper often and early.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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