TAMPA, Fla. – What is the difference between the 48 hours and the change of venue.
After a 2-0 loss to the Stanley Cup in 2022 – and a 7-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche – which seemed even worse – Tampa Bay Lightning returned home and threw an epic counter-skating. With a 6: 2 win over Amalie Arenal in front of a raucous crowd.
The nature of the series seems to have changed, leading to controversy for Avsi, a legitimate goalkeeper who replaced Darcy Kuemper in the middle of the second period.
What did we learn in this competition? And has the whole momentum of the Stanley Cup final shifted in favor of lightning?
It’s a series again
After Lightning was embarrassed by a 7-0 loss in the 2nd game, captain Steven Stamkos said, “When we get home, we’ll find out what we’re made of.”
What is the answer in the 3rd game against each other from Stanley Cup fighters. They defended according to their usual standards, limiting their opponent’s sixth game in a row at home with two or fewer goals. They got star performances from their top players – Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov played multi-point games, but goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevski hit 37 rebounds.
Only five times in NHL history has Stanley’s Cup Defender’s best of seven in the seven-playoff series 3-0. None came back to win, and four of the five series ended in an explosion.
Lightning doesn’t have to worry about that now. It’s a series again. – Greg Wyshynski
On Monday, it was almost a month since Colorado last tasted the loss. They Avalanche reached the cup final with a record 12: 2. In the third game, Tampa Bay served a modest pie to its visitors.
Avalanche thought Valeri Nichushkin had scored the first goal for the game. Jon Cooper successfully challenged the deadlock. Deflation.
Gabriel Landeskog then scored a goal. 1: 0, Colorado. But not for long. Because after a thoroughly dominant performance in Game 2, the Avalanche could not (or could not) reach the same level. They did not win competitions or battles. They did not suffocate in the neutral zone. Instead of being overthrown, the lightning struck him repeatedly.
Colorado was in the red without Andre Burakovski after his right hand shot in the 2nd game. Nazem Kadri (broken thumb) is also out of play. But this is no excuse. The Avalanche has praised – and praised – its depth throughout the season. They failed in Game 3, while the depth of the flash allowed them to roll straight through.
And it doesn’t hurt that Vasilevsky was fantastic. Darcy Kuemper, meanwhile, scored five goals on 22 shots and was replaced by Pavel Francouz. An upcoming goalkeeper dispute? That’s exactly what Avalanche doesn’t need.
Tampa Bay was a better team in every aspect of the 3rd game. Colorado scored two goals in the power game from the Landeskog and failed the most anywhere else. That was the biggest difference Avalanche had made in the playoffs, overshadowing the 4: 1 loss. Louis Blues on May 19th.
Suffice it to say, this is an uncharted territory for Colorado play-offs. Where is the avalanche going from here? – Kristen Shilton
Steven Stamkos sees playing on their home ice as a factor that will help Lightning return to the series.
No false starts
The start of Game 3 was what Lightning needed and missed in the previous two losses.
In the first two games of the series, Lightning missed several goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. These poor starts on the road affected everything else in the game. They could not identify anything they wanted to do to slow down the avalanche attack. They spent energy climbing out of these holes, leaving little to protect Colorado or their offense.
These were also self-dug holes. Lightning gave Avalanche a 5: 3 strength in the first period of Game 1. In the second game, the penalty was 1:01. Colorado realized both opportunities.
As he often does, winger Pat Maroon provided a clever analysis of the situation in Tampa Bay and how Lightning could apply the lessons learned in Games 1 and 2 in Game 3.
“You feel good, you feel the puck, it’s a different ball game. So keep it out of the box and play our game. Play Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. Don’t worry about the score. Don’t worry about the result,” he said. “Listen, when they score the first goal, that’s fine. Keep playing as we play, find ways to attack.”
Avalanche scored the first goal. Well, in the end, they did, because Nichushkin’s swipe, which won Vasilevski, was wiped off the table by a video stalemate. The Landeskog power game’s score at 8:19 changed to 1-0, but as Maroon suggested, lightning played as they did.
Midfielder Anthony Cirelli hit the net hard and the slipper slipped through Kuemper at 13:03 and tied the game. Lightning skills then took over as Palat intercepted, Kucherov pulled defenders in the attack zone and Stamkos used the space to find Palat as the goal of his 10th play-off.
Tampa Bay finished the first period with a 2: 1 lead. Lightning is now in the playoffs 7: 1 when leading after the first. It wasn’t a perfect opening shot, but it was good enough to build the foundation on which they built their 3rd game victory. – Wyshynski
Kuemper remains a play-off puzzle. And that pulled him out of the third game.
Avsi’s opening goalkeeper was quickly picked up, making major stops at the beginning of the first period. His positioning was hardly a textbook, but the litter was left out. Colorado was in trouble from the neutral zone, which is the team’s usual strength, so Kuemper’s contribution was even more pronounced in leading the Avalanche 1-0.
He regained his first chance to play power in Tampa Bay. Just before the wheels fell.
Cirelli defeated Kuemper’s second man in Tampa Bay with a shot that looked more like a failed hanging attempt. Palat threw him cleanly past him with another rescue blow. And further, lightning struck until Kuemper had conceded five goals with 22 strokes (0.773 percent rebound) in the middle of the second shot.
The camper did not stop what he should have done. Harder things were left out. Why? Who knows. Anyway, it was hello, Pavel Francouz.
That was the right speech by coach Jared Bednar. As Vasilevskiy got better and better at the other end, Kuemper raged. He was on the ground too early, not watching the liter well, and the lightning picked him apart.
Game 3 was the first time since Colorado played in the second round of St. Louis, where Kuemper was called to rise. He failed – rather unfortunately – in this task.
Francouz was good with relief, scoring nine out of 10 hits.
What is Bednar doing now? Will you stick with Francouz, who made it to the 3rd record with a 6-0 record, a rebound of 0.906 goals and 2.86 goals – against the average of the offseason? Or benefit Kuemper from suspicion, as Jon Cooper did after Vasilevski after a difficult first game? Which goalkeeper will actually give Colorado the best chance when Vasilevskiy is in top shape again?
This is a big decision. Only Colorado’s hope of winning the trophy is at stake. – Shilton
Ondrej Palat scores a beautiful goal, leading Lightning to lead the Avalanche 2: 1.
Good news, bad news for Tampa Bay defense
Lightning did not chase Colorado during Game 3. They did not allow the Avalanche many strange opportunities. They remained in their structure, holding these marauding Colorado attackers in front of them and providing literal support in the defense zone. The team, which seemed to skate unexpectedly out of the series, was able to compare the energy of the avalanche. Good protection and improved control do it.
Quite a stunning result: Avalanche was held in the 3rd game without equal goals, having scored seven of them in the previous two games. It was only the second time in 17 post-season games that the Avalanche failed to score. One big factor: Lightning had the last line change at home. This meant they could keep Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov off Nathan MacKinnon’s line and send Anthony Cirell along the line of control with Alex Killorn and Brandon Hagel against the Avalanche top three.
The Tampa Bay closing line made the difference in the final of the Eastern Conference against the New York Rangers when he was awarded the Mika Zibanejad line in the 3rd game. The Lightning Trio did not have an advantage over the MacKinnon line – who could? – but kept it evenly away from the table.
Lightning said that Andrei Vasilevski “left out” in the second game. They gave him a lot more help in Game 3, and he responded in the same way with 37 reps from 39 hits.
Now the bad news: Avalanche continued to dominate the game of power. Lightning entered the 3rd game, killing only 70.8% of the power games they faced at home. Colorado scored twice in the power game and now has five men in the series. – Wyshynski
The star is dead?
Avalanche lacked the key elements of the 3rd game lineup. One of the available ones did not help to compensate.
Nathan MacKinnon did not score a goal in the cup final, sharing only a few assists in three games. Most of the attention has rightly gone to all those who contributed to the depths of the Avalanche. Bednar has repeatedly stated that he does not want MacKinnon to wear it on his team. This is not exactly what Colorado needed in Game 3. It just needed a little stardom.
MacKinnon would have scored with an impressive pass if Nichushkin’s first goal had stood; it was a great helper. Avalanche then needed a little more from MacKinnon to meet Tampa Bay cooking. Stamkos and Cirelli scored with Corey Perry and Pat Maroon as Lightning produced both up and down.
Cale Makar bounced back from a difficult (for him) game 1, was great in the second game and was confident again on Monday. He deftly cut off the 2-1 draw in the third period, which didn’t really help Colorado’s chances, but was an example of how quickly he can tip the ice and make a good game. With a two-point night in Makari, he also finished third in the overall NHL playoffs with 17 goals and 26 points.
Bottom line: It’s time for MacKinnon to have a great evening. Like, game 5 in the second round of St. Against Louis. That doesn’t mean putting pressure on him to be “The Guy” every night. But Colorado needs a little push from someone right now, and MacKinnon may (and should) be the one to help. – Shilton
Steven Stamkos takes the pocket and scores a nice goal, leading Lightning 4: 2 to the lead.
Something has to be given – or will it give?
Fun fact: Colorado didn’t lose any playoff games before Monday.
Here’s another one: Tampa Bay hadn’t lost a playoff game at home either. The lightning still hasn’t done.
The third game was the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup final that both teams took part in an active home and away series that lasted seven games.
This is the “evenly matched” elite level. Do we see that this trend will continue on 4-7 May? games and predict the winner of this series? – Shilton
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