Lightning bounces with an emphatic explosion off the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final

Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored four times in the second period and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 Monday night in Game 3 of the Finals Stanley Cup in Tampa, Florida. .

Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry also scored to help the two-time defending champion Lightning bounce back after playing poorly while losing the first two games on the road. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots.

Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored in the second period, when the Lightning chased Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper while running away to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche. Kuemper allowed five goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Pavel Francouz, who finished with nine saves.

Game 4 takes place Wednesday night at Amalie Arena, where the Lightning won a franchise-record eight straight playoff games and Colorado lost on the road for the first time this postseason.

Two nights after being limited to just 16 shots in a 7-0 loss at Denver, the Lightning bounced back by finally finding a way to neutralize Colorado’s speed and solve Kuemper to avoid falling on the brink of elimination.

WATCH | Lightning defeats Avalanche in Game 3:

Lightning pours 6 goals into Avalanche net, Tampa wins Game 3

Nick Paul’s second-period goal proved to be the winner as Tampa Bay won Game 3 6-2 over Colorado.

The defending champions became the first team since 1919 to win a Stanley Cup Finals game after losing by more than seven goals in the previous game.

The Avalanche lifted Kuemper after Maroon scored a soft goal that put the Lightning up 5-2 with 8:45 left in the second. Perry reached behind Francouz to grab a rebound that came off the right post to make it 6-2 with 5:02 left in the period.

The back-to-back champions overcame a 2-0 series deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals to eliminate the New York Rangers in six games. They’re looking to do it again against Colorado to complete their quest for the first NHL hat-trick in nearly 40 years.

Lightning quickens the pace, energy

Cirelli and Palat scored in the first period for the Lightning, who played with much more energy than in Games 1 and 2, when they seemed to be a step or two slower than the quick and capable Avalanche. .

The seven-goal loss in Game 2 raised the question of whether a team that has played 68 postseason games — most by one club over a three-playoff span — since 2020 is short of gasoline as it bids to become the first franchise to win at least three consecutive Stanley Cup titles since the New York Islanders won four in a row from 1980 to 1983.

And while coach Jon Cooper plays down the toll playoff hockey has taken on its players, Colorado clearly looked like the fresher team in Games 1 and 2 after going 12-2 against Nashville. , St. Louis and Edmonton passing through the first three rounds.

Boosted by a sold-out crowd of more than 19,000 and playing with a sense of urgency absent for most of the first two games, the Lightning scored twice in 1:51 to wipe out a 1-0 lead that the Avalanche took on the first of Landeskog’s two power play goals.

Cirelli crossed past Kuemper to make it 1-1 at 1:03 of the opening period. Palat scored his 10th playoff goal on a pass from Stamkos to give Tampa Bay a first-time series lead.

Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up a second power-play goal to Landeskog, who briefly cut a two-goal deficit to 3-2 before Tampa Bay pulled out for good.

Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 39 shots after giving up the most goals he’s ever allowed in the playoffs in Game 2. Vasilevskiy made 13 saves in the first half, 12 in the second and 12 in the third.

The Lightning became the third team in NHL history to score six goals in a Stanley Cup Final after giving up at least seven in the previous game.

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