Stanley Cup Final: Bolts bounce back to beat Avs

TAMPA, Fla. –

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s bid for a three-peat is alive and effectively.

With Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy main the best way, the star-laden, two-time defending champions beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 Monday evening in Sport 3 of the Stanley Cup Remaining.

The victory two nights after struggling essentially the most lopsisded loss within the staff’s playoff historical past trimmed Tampa Bay’s collection deficit to 2-1 and breathed hope within the staff’s quest to turn out to be the primary franchise in practically 40 years to win three consecutive NHL titles.

“There’s a motive why we’re right here and there’s a motive why we gained tonight. There’s a motive why this has gone on for the final couple of years,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper stated.

“The fellows that you must lead you’ve gotten been doing that, after which all people falls in line,” Cooper added. “You watch Stammer’s development and Hedman’s development by the years, and it’s in all probability not a coincidence that profitable has adopted us.”

Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat every had a aim and an help, and the Lightning scored 4 instances within the second interval to bounce again from an embarrassing 7-0 loss in Sport 2 of the best-of-seven matchup.

Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry additionally scored to assist Tampa Bay storm again after enjoying poorly whereas dropping the primary two video games on the street. Kucherov and Hedman had two assists, and Vasilevskiy stopped 37 pictures.

“I do not know why we began the collection the best way we did. … However any approach you slice it, it is 2-1 now,” Stamkos stated.

“An enormous half, too, is our goaltender,” Cooper added. “For him to undergo what he went by two nights in the past after which carry out like he did tonight … not solely that, however to have them rating first after which have the staff to reply and again him up, I assume that is the way you get to the locations that we’ve been.”

Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored within the second interval, when the Lightning chased Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper whereas pulling away.

Gabriel Landeskog had two targets and Mikko Rantanen and Cale Maker every 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.

Sport 4 is Wednesday evening at Amalie Area, the place the Lightning have gained a franchise-record eight straight playoff video games and Colorado misplaced on the street for the primary time this postseason.

“Proper now I really feel like we’re nonetheless within the driver’s seat up 2-1,” Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon stated. “We’ve acquired to actually present up for Sport 4, regroup, be higher and keep even-keeled.”

Two nights after being restricted to only 16 pictures within the seven-goal loss in Denver, the Lightning discovered a strategy to neutralize Colorado’s velocity and remedy 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 Remaining recreation after dropping by seven-plus targets the earlier recreation.

“We knew they have been too proud to go away,” MacKinnon stated. “It’s the Stanley Cup Remaining, we’re not anticipating to brush. They clearly didn’t cling their head on dropping to us in Sport 2, and we’re not going to tonight.”

The Avalanche lifted Kuemper after Maroon scored a mushy aim 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 suitable put up to make 6-2 with 5:02 left within the interval.

The back-to-back champions overcame a 2-0 collection deficit within the Jap Convention closing to eradicate the New York Rangers in six video games. They’re trying 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 pair of, after they gave the impression to be a step or two slower the speedy, high-scoring Avalanche.

The seven-goal loss in Sport 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 turn out to be the primary franchise to win at the least three consecutive Stanley Cup titles because the New York Islanders gained 4 in a row from 1980-83.

And whereas, Cooper reductions the toll enjoying a lot playoff hockey has taken on his gamers, Colorado clearly seemed just like the brisker staff in Video games 1 and a pair of after going 12-2 in opposition to Nashville, St. Louis and Edmonton in breezing by 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 aim of the playoffs off a move from Stamkos to provide Tampa Bay a lead for the primary time within the collection.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar stated Kuemper did not have an excellent evening, however famous: “Neither did our staff.”

“I felt just like the targets we gave up, we did not make them earn them,” the coach added.

Vasilevskiy yielded a second power-play aim to Landeskog, who briefly trimmed a two-goal deficit to 3-2 earlier than Tampa Bay pulled away for good.

The Lightning turned the third staff in NHL historical past rating six targets in a Stanley Cup Remaining after yielding at the least seven the earlier recreation.

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