2022 Stanley Cup Final: The Lightning maintain their lead, a stag beetle roots for Colorado and more from Game 4

NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning confirmed some life in Recreation 3 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final towards the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. After getting blown out in Recreation 2, Tampa bought objectives from six completely different scorers in a 6-2 win.

After permitting 11 objectives within the first two video games, Andrei Vasilevskiy was again in kind in internet, making 37 saves. The Lightning have now received a franchise-record eight consecutive residence playoff video games.

And for the twenty third straight season, there is not going to be a sweep within the Stanley Cup Ultimate.

Avs heart Nathan MacKinnon, who had 32 objectives within the common season, lastly broke his mini slump within the Stanley Cup Ultimate. He lastly bought on the board within the second interval with a wild aim that bounced off his skate after a shot by Mikko Rantanen.

Will probably be a pivotal night time in Tampa earlier than the collection returns to Denver for Friday’s Recreation 5. Listed here are all of the sights and sounds from Recreation 4.

Backwards and forwards

This may find yourself being the closest sport of those Stanley Cup Finals, because the Avalanche tie it up once more with a aim from Nico Sturm.

Avalanche second-period takeaways

Nathan MacKinnon has entered the chat.

It could not have come at a greater time.

Colorado’s star heart had been snakebit to begin the Stanley Cup Ultimate, failing to register a aim by the primary three video games. MacKinnon pledged to not get annoyed (a trait of his throughout previous slumps) and hold capturing till he discovered a gap.

His power-play aim wasn’t precisely a factor of magnificence, nor did it require an precise shot. Nevertheless it did tie the rating in Recreation 4 at 1-1.

It was MacKinnon who really handed the puck to Mikko Rantanen, and Rantanen despatched it again on internet the place the puck bounced off his skate and previous Andrei Vasilevskiy.

They do not ask how. They ask what number of.

Nobody wanted a aim like MacKinnon, although. Whereas Tampa Bay’s stars have been stepping up, it was hurting Colorado to see their excellent performer with solely two assists in three outings.

An everlasting downside, although? Colorado does not have an even-strength aim because the collection shifted to Tampa; all three have come thus far with the additional man. Not nice. — Kristen Shilton

Lightning second-period takeaways

Final night time was a bizarre night time for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. It was the night time earlier than Recreation 4 of the Stanley Cup Ultimate and so they had been wearing fits on the NHL Awards dinner, held at a neighborhood Tampa brewery. Hedman bought all dolled up simply to look at Makar win the Norris Trophy because the NHL’s finest defenseman. It was the sixth time Hedman was nominated for the award. He is solely received it as soon as.

So there was most likely some matter of satisfaction for Hedman within the second interval when he scored the sort of aim that Norris trophies are manufactured from: Dangling by the impartial zone, then the Avalanche protection, earlier than floating a shot previous Darcy Kuemper’s blocker facet for a 2-1 lead at 10:42 of the interval. Was lots of this aim Jack Johnson‘s protection and a whiff by Kuemper? Granted, it was. Nevertheless it was nonetheless a wonderful transfer and a monumental aim by Hedman. We’re checking the NHL bylaws to see if Makar has to legally give up the Norris to him now.

The opposite huge efficiency of the second interval was goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. He gave up an influence play aim on a puck that bounced off the skate of Nathan MacKinnon — the Avalanche’s sixth power-play aim of the collection — however was in any other case classic Huge Cat with 15 saves within the interval. If the Lightning weren’t blocking them, he was saving them.

The interval did not finish effectively for the Bolts, nevertheless. Anthony Cirelli, their key defensive heart towards the MacKinnon line, left the ice clutching his arm with simply over a minute to go. Definitely one thing to keep watch over for the third.
— Greg Wyshynski

Tampa regains the lead

Victor Hedman provides the Lightning their first aim of the second interval and a 2-1 lead. It is Hedman’s third aim of the postseason and his first since Could 10.

All tied up

The Avalanche struck again a couple of minutes into the second interval, with MacKinnon sending a rebound residence for his first aim of the collection after 32 makes an attempt, essentially the most of any participant on both staff.

Avalanche first interval takeaways

Colorado could not have seen that begin coming.

It might take Tampa Bay solely 36 seconds to go up 1-0 over the Avalanche on an extremely fluky sequence.

The Lightning had good offensive zone stress early when Erik Cernak fired a shot on Darcy Kuemper that knocked the goaltender’s masks proper off. Kuemper then could not get throughout to cease Anthony Cirelli‘s ensuing play that put Tampa Bay on the board.

Usually, when a goalie’s masks comes off there’s a direct whistle however, on this case, as a result of there was an ongoing scoring likelihood, play was allowed to proceed.

Kuemper was in for a troublesome sufficient Recreation 4 earlier than that. He bought the nod to begin after being pulled halfway by Recreation 3 for permitting 5 objectives on 22 pictures. He did not want a bizarre aim throwing his confidence off additional. Kuemper rebounded (no pun supposed) properly although whereas the Avalanche floundered in entrance of him, being outshot 10-1 by the primary 13 minutes.

In actual fact, Kuemper was about the one factor holding Colorado collectively for these first 20 minutes. That is a harmful place for the Avalanche to place themselves in. He made an important glove cease on Steven Stamkos after which was sharp on Tampa Bay’s late power-play likelihood.

The Avalanche completed the interval being outshot 17-4.

Yikes. — Kristen Shilton

Lightning first interval takeaways

The Lightning are 7-1 after they have a lead after the primary interval within the playoffs, which is one other method of claiming that this can be a staff that is aware of how you can play with a lead. They blocked 13 pictures in entrance of Vasilevskiy and altered just a few extra. They clogged the impartial zone and did not enable the Avalanche to construct up their velocity sport. The Lightning earned substantial zone time with their forecheck, particularly with their fourth line that earned the sport’s solely energy play.

That stated, it is nonetheless only a 1-0 lead for the Lightning after the primary, regardless of that energy play alternative and 17 pictures on aim. There have been some squandered possibilities there and Kuemper was in a position to regain his footing after a shaky begin. — Greg Wyshynski

Losing no time

It appears just like the Lightning are over their disastrous Recreation 2, as they wanted lower than a minute for the sport’s first aim. Additionally a scary second for Kuemper, because the goaltender took a keep on with the neck that knocked his helmet off.

Smallest greatest fan

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

Look the half, be the half

Each groups had been all enterprise heading into the sector for Recreation 4.

Return of the ring(s)

Mascots deserve their championship rings simply as a lot as anybody else, which is why it is heartwarming to see the Lightning’s mascot get two again that he’d misplaced.

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