After being shut out in the last game, the Tampa Bay Lightning entertained their fans in Game 3 with a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche led the series 2-1.
Led by the brilliance of Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning exploded with four second-half goals in Game 3.
Without Brayden Point, the Lightning were trying to win a first game in this Stanley Cup final. The Lightning players showed a lot more intensity and a lot more aggressiveness in this clash.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 37 pucks during the game, made some key saves in the first period and then held the line as Nicholas Paul, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry scored in the second period.
The Lightning managed to close the books in the third period. The fourth duel will take place again in Tampa on Wednesday evening.
Defeated 7-0 in the second game, the Lightning players showed much more intensity and much more aggressiveness in the first few minutes. Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat hit the bull’s eye to give Jon Cooper’s men a lead they couldn’t let go of.
Maroon, Stamkos and Palat also added assists, while Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov both set up two Lightning goals.
Gabriel Landeskog scored both goals for the Avalanche, assisted by Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar respectively. For the first time in a while this postseason, Colorado’s side couldn’t fully utilize their speed to cause damage.
Darcy Kuemper started play for the Avalanche and was dismissed after allowing five goals on 22 shots. Francouz relieved saved nine of the ten shots he faced.
In addition to Point missing the game, the Lightning may have suffered a heavy loss in this game. Just under six minutes before the end, Nikita Kucherov left the game.
The flash goes off
In this duel it was again the Avalanche who struck first. By a man, Landeskog jumped a loose puck in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s net to give his team the lead.
Tampa’s line came from Anthony Cirelli’s stock. The Lightning forward pulled off a great move to beat Darcy Kuemper with his first goal in 14 games.
The Lightning have the wind in their sails and add less than two minutes later. Ondrej Palat accepted his captain Stamkos’ handoff to give Tampa the lead for the first time in the series.
Jon Cooper’s men started the second period with a bang. Paul doubled Tampa’s lead after just 86 seconds.
However, Colorado relied on its massive offense to close the gap. Landeskog found the net for the second time in the game. Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen both got their second assists of the game on their captain’s goal.
After failing to beat Kuemper in the last encounter, the Lightning seemed to have regained a taste for scoring in front of their fans. Stamkos brought his team back two nets with a good play in the slot.
The Lightning really took Kuemper’s number in Game 3. Maroon got the crowd pumping at the Amalie Arena by scoring a 5th goal with a breakthrough at the net.
Jared Bednar has seen enough. The Avalanche head coach sent Kuemper into the dressing room and Pavel Francouz joined the fray. The Avalanche starting goaltender finished his night on the job with 17 saves from 22 shots.
Tampa was quick to welcome Francouz. Perry capitalized on a puck that escaped the Colorado keeper to make it 6-2 with 5:02 left in the middle half.
Obviously, the two teams used the final moments of the meeting to prepare the ground for Game 4. Ross Colton and Logan O’Connor especially threw away the gloves.
It’s Perry’s turn, the Lightning is in full control
Vasilevskiy sets the tone with a brilliant save
Narrow offside saves Lightning at the beginning
Landeskog in the right place to launch the brand
Lightning counterattack and reply from Cirelli
Finally a first track for the Lightning!
Nick Paul adds the Lightning is two ahead
Landeskog’s perfect shot for his 2nd of the game
Stamkos from close range, TB take a two-goal lead
Maroon makes 5:2 and chases Kümper
Kucherov injured after being hit by Toews