2022 Stanley Cup Final – Best moments, scenes and breakdown from Colorado Avalanche-Tampa Bay Lightning Game 4

The Tampa Bay Lightning showed some life in Game 3 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. After being blown out in Game 2, Tampa scored goals from six different scorers in a 6-2 win.

After conceding 11 goals in his first two games, Andrei Vasilevskiy was back on form at the net, making 37 saves. The Lightning have now won a franchise-record eight straight home playoff games.

And for the 23rd year in a row, there will be no sweep in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Avs center Nathan MacKinnon, who scored 32 goals in the regular season, finally broke his mini-hole in the Stanley Cup Finals. Finally, in the second period, he came on with a wild goal that bounced off his skate after a shot from Mikko Rantanen.

It will be a pivotal night in Tampa before the series returns to Denver for Game 5 on Friday. Here are all the sights and sounds of Game 4.

Back and forth

This could end up being the closest game of these Stanley Cup Finals as the Avalanche equalize again with a goal from Nico Sturm.

Avalanche Takeaways from the second period

Nathan MacKinnon entered the chat.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Colorado’s Star Center suffered a snakebite at the start of the Stanley Cup Finals after failing to score in their first three games. MacKinnon promised not to get frustrated (a trait of his during past break-ins) and keep shooting until he found an opening.

His power play goal wasn’t exactly pretty, nor did it require a real shot. But it leveled the score in Game 4 at 1-1.

It was MacKinnon who actually passed the puck to Mikko Rantanen and Rantanen sent it back to the net where the puck bounced off his skate and went past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

You don’t ask how. You ask how many.

No one needed a goal like MacKinnon, however. While Tampa Bay’s stars have been rising, it hurt Colorado to see their standout player with just two assists in three games.

A permanent problem? Colorado hasn’t had an equally strong target since the series moved to Tampa; All three have come with the extra man so far. Not good. – Kristen Shilton

Lightning fast food stalls from the second period

Last night was an odd night for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. It was the night before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and they wore suits to the NHL awards dinner, which was being held at a local brewery in Tampa. Hedman dressed up just to watch Makar win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. It was the sixth time Hedman had been nominated for the award. He’s only won it once.

So it was probably a matter of satisfaction for Hedman in the second half as he scored the kind of goal Norris trophies are made of: dangling through the neutral zone, then the Avalanche defense before throwing a shot at Darcy Kuempers Blocker side flew past to A 2-1 lead at 10:42 of the third. Was much of that goal Jack Johnson’s defense and a touch of Kuemper? Admittedly, that was it. But it was still a wonderful move and a monumental goal from Hedman. We’re reviewing the NHL bylaws to see if Makar now legally needs to relinquish the Norris to him.

The other great performance of the second period was goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy. He gave up a power play goal on a puck that bounced off Nathan MacKinnon’s skate – the Avalanche’s sixth power play goal of the series – but was otherwise a classic big cat with 15 saves during that period. When the lightning didn’t block them, it saved them.

However, the time did not end well for the Bolts. Anthony Cirelli, their main defensive center against the MacKinnon line, left the ice clutching his arm with just over a minute to go. Certainly something to keep an eye on for the third.
– Greg Wyshynski

Tampa reclaims the lead

Victor Hedman gives the Lightnings their first goal of the second period and a 2-1 lead. It’s Hedman’s third goal of the postseason and his first since May 10.

All tied up

The Avalanche struck back a few minutes into the second half, with MacKinnon sending home a rebound after 32 attempts for his first goal of the series, the most of any player on either team.

Avalanche takeaways for the first hour

Colorado couldn’t see that beginning coming.

It took Tampa Bay just 36 seconds to go 1-0 over the Avalanche in an incredibly random sequence.

The Lightning had good pressure early in the offensive zone when Erik Cernak fired a shot at Darcy Kuemper, who knocked off the keeper’s mask immediately. Kuemper then failed to stop Anthony Cirelli’s subsequent game that put Tampa Bay on the board.

Normally the whistle is blown immediately when a goalkeeper’s mask comes off, but in this case play was allowed to continue as there was a continuous scoring opportunity.

Before that, Kuemper faced a pretty tough Game 4. He got the starting nod after being pulled midway in Game 3 for allowing five goals on 22 shots. He didn’t need a weird goal to further sap his confidence. However, Kuemper recovered well (no pun intended) while the Avalanche floundered in front of him and was overshot 10-1 in the first 13 minutes.

In fact, Kuemper was the only thing holding Colorado together for the first 20 minutes. This is a dangerous position for the Avalanche to empathize with. He made a great glove stop on Steven Stamkos and then was keen on Tampa Bay’s late power play chance.

The Avalanche ended the period 17-4.

whoops – Kristen Shilton

Lightning-fast takeaways for the first hour

The Lightning are 7-1 if they have a playoff lead after the first half, which is another way of saying this is a team that knows how to play with a lead. They blocked 13 shots in front of Vasilevskiy and converted a few more. They clogged the neutral zone and didn’t allow the Avalanche to build up their speed game. The Lightning earned some significant zone time on her forecheck, especially on her fourth line, which earned the only power play of the game.

Despite that power play opportunity and 17 shots on goal, it’s still just a 1-0 lead for the Lightning after game one. There were a few missed chances and KΓΌmper was able to regain his footing after a shaky start. – Greg Wyshynski

Don’t waste time

It looks like the Lightning are through with their disastrous Game 2 as it took them less than a minute to score the first goal of the game. It was also a moment of shock for Kuemper when the goalkeeper got a stick on his neck, knocking off his helmet.

Smallest Biggest Fan

Butterfly Pavilion, a zoo in Westminster, Colorado, and its resident stag beetle wished the Avalanche good luck ahead of Game 4.

Watch the role, be the role

Both teams were all heading to the arena for Game 4.

Return of the ring(s).

Mascots deserve their championship rings just like everyone else, so it’s heartwarming to see the Flash Mascot regain two lost ones.

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