By FRED GOODALL, AP Sports activities Author
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat every had a purpose and an help, and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored 4 occasions within the second interval and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 Monday evening in Recreation 3 of the Stanley Cup Ultimate.
Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry additionally scored to assist the two-time defending champion Lightning bounce again after enjoying poorly whereas dropping the primary two video games on the highway. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 pictures.
Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored within the second interval, when the Lightning chased Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper whereas pulling away to trim their sequence deficit to 2-1.
Gabriel Landeskog had two targets and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche. Kuemper gave up 5 targets on 22 pictures earlier than he was changed by Pavel Francouz, who completed with 9 saves.
Recreation 4 is Wednesday evening at Amalie Area, the place the Lightning have received a franchise-record eight straight playoff video games and Colorado misplaced on the highway for the primary time this postseason.
Two nights after being restricted to only 16 pictures in a 7-0 loss in Denver, the Lightning rebounded by lastly discovering solution to neutralize Colorado’s pace and resolve Kuemper to keep away from falling to the brink of elimination.
The defending champs turned the primary staff since 1919 to win a Stanley Cup Ultimate recreation after dropping by seven-plus targets the earlier recreation.
The Avalanche lifted Kuemper after Maroon scored a smooth purpose that put the Lightning up 5-2 with 8:45 remaining within the second. Perry reached behind Francouz to faucet in a rebound that got here off the precise submit to make 6-2 with 5:02 left within the interval.
The back-to-back champions overcame a 2-0 sequence deficit within the Japanese Convention last to eradicate the New York Rangers in six video games. They’re seeking to do it once more in opposition to Colorado to finish their quest for the NHL’s first three-peat in practically 40 years.
Cirelli and Palat scored within the opening interval for the Lightning, who performed with much more power than in Video games 1 and a couple of, after they gave the impression to be a step or two slower the speedy, high-scoring Avalanche.
The seven-goal loss in Recreation 2 raised the query of whether or not a staff that’s performed 68 postseason video games — most by a single membership over a span of three playoffs — since 2020 is operating out of fuel because it tries to develop into the primary franchise to win at the least three consecutive Stanley Cup titles for the reason that New York Islanders received 4 in a row from 1980-83.
And whereas, coach Jon Cooper reductions the toll enjoying a lot playoff hockey has taken on his gamers, Colorado clearly appeared just like the more energizing staff in Video games 1 and a couple of after going 12-2 in opposition to Nashville, St. Louis and Edmonton in breezing by way of the primary three rounds.
Spurred on by a sellout crowd of greater than 19,000, and enjoying with a way of urgency absent for a lot of the primary two video games, the Lightning scored twice in a span of 1:51 to wipe out a 1-0 lead the Avalanche took on the primary of Landeskog’s two power-play targets.
Cirelli crossed in entrance of Kuemper to make it 1-1 at 13:03 of the opening interval. Palat delivered his tenth purpose of the playoffs off a move from Stamkos to offer Tampa Bay a lead for the primary time within the sequence.
Andrei Vasilevskiy yielded a second power-play purpose to Landeskog, who briefly trimmed a two-goal deficit to 3-2 earlier than Tampa Bay pulled away for good.
Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 39 pictures after
After permitting probably the most targets he’s ever given up within the playoffs in Recreation 2, Vasilevskiy had 13 saves within the first interval, 12 within the second and 12 within the third.
The Lightning turned the third staff in NHL historical past rating six targets in a Stanley Cup Ultimate after yielding at the least seven the earlier recreation.
Each groups performed with out considered one of their prime forwards.
Lightning middle Brayden Level, who missed 10 video games after being injured throughout Tampa Bay’s series-clinching victory over Toronto within the first spherical, was scratched after enjoying in Video games 1 and a couple of in Denver.
Avalanche forwards Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri sat out for Colorado. Coach Jared Bednar mentioned each are daily.
Paul scored for the Lightning after sitting out a portion of the primary interval with what gave the impression to be a proper leg harm.
Colorado entered Monday evening with a franchise-record seven-game postseason successful streak. The Avalanche additionally suffered their first highway loss, dropping to 8-1. Tampa Bay improved to 8-1 at house this postseason.
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