Stanley Cup Final Game Three: Pound of Flesh
The Tampa Bay Lightning respond to their Game Two blowout loss with a big home win in Game Three
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered Amalie Arena knowing what was at stake in this year's Stanley Cup Final. They were down 2-0 against the Colorado Avalanche, with Game One being an OT loss while Game Two was an out and out rout. They needed to get back on track, and the scene shifting to their home ice is a good way to do it. However, they did receive some bad news: Brayden Point was out for Game Three. Point missed the last two series before returning in Game One, but his previous issue had resurfaced. As for the Avalanche, they were still without Nazem Kadri, and they received the news that Andre Burakovsky would be out as well.
The game started well for Tampa Bay early, as they had the first three shots on goal. However, Valeri Nichushkin scored 5:00 into the period, but Jon Cooper challenged for offsides, and won it...after the officials took nearly ten minutes looking at it. Seriously, these long reviews need to stop; I've seen too many of them in games. The ruling was correct, but it shouldn't have taken forever and a day. Anyway, Bolts received the first power play of the game, but it became four-on-four due to Ondrej Palat's own infraction. The Avalanche went on their own power play, and it cashes in; Gabriel Landeskog made it 1-0, with assists from Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar. Less than five minutes later, Anthony Cirelli ties it up with a shot that could have been saved by Darcy Kuemper, and 1:51 later, Palat gives the Lightning their first lead of the Final, and the 2-1 score held up to end the first period.
The Lightning were far from done; Nick Paul made it 3-1 early in the second, but the Bolts would end up shorthanded once again. Landeskog netted his second PPG of the game to cut Colorado's deficit to one, but that only fueled up the Bolts. Goals by Steven Stamkos and Pat Maroon ended Kuemper's night early, as Pavel Francouz made his first appearance of the series. He gave up a goal to Corey Perry, but ended up saving nine of Tampa Bay's 10 shots. It was 6-2 Bolts after 40 minutes, and that ended up being the final score.
The Lightning let out two games' worth of frustration in that entire game. They entered Game Three being outscored 11-3 in the series, and were coming off Andrei Vasilevskiy's worst playoff performance of his career. In Game Three, Vasi saved 37 out of 39, and four players had two points each. As for the Avalanche, this was their first road loss of the 2022 playoffs; they entered this game 7-0 outside of Ball Arena. Landeskog's two goals give him 11 overall in this year's playoffs, which ties him with Nathan MacKinnon, who hasn't been racking up the points. MacKinnon has yet to score in this series, and he only has two points overall--an assist in each of the two home games.
Game Four is Wednesday in Tampa. As an Avalanche fan, here's how I see this. The Bolts got their payback big time in Game Three, so they shouldn't be frustrated entering Game Four. The Avalanche will now have something to prove in Game Four, as well as something to play for. If the Avalanche win that all-important Game Four, then Game Five will see the Avs back on their home ice, and a certain prize could be waiting for Colorado--the same one that's been waiting for 21 years.
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About the author
Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy
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