Reigning NHL champion Lightning in 2-0 gap to Avalanche
DENVER (AP) — What emerged from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night time wasn’t their championship pedigree or vaunted capability to bounce again however frayed nerves and possibly a realization that the Colorado Avalanche are coming swiftly for his or her crown.
Outmuscled. Outhustled. Out-tussled.
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions had been thumped 7-0 by the Avalanche, dropping not solely the sport however their cool and their mojo within the course of.
This marked simply the second time in Vasilevskiy’s 465-game NHL profession that he allowed that many targets in a sport.
Captain Steven Stamkos was hollering and angling for a struggle with the Lightning down 3-0 within the first interval. Corey Perry went to the penalty field on the finish of the second with Tampa Bay trailing 5-0 after getting right into a quarrel within the Colorado crease with J.T. Compher.
The groups bought right into a scrum with 4:22 left within the third interval and the end result lengthy determined.
The Lightning had shrugged off their 4-3 additional time loss to the Avalanche in Game 1, insisting they’d bounce again behind their nice goaltender now that they’d gotten a first-hand take a look at all that pace and ability the Avalanche throw at groups.
They had been equally assured they’d deciphered Darcy Kuemper after erasing a pair of two-goal deficits within the opener earlier than dropping in additional time.
Instead, the Lightning grew to become simply the third workforce ever to permit three or extra first-period targets within the first two video games of a Stanley Cup Final, becoming a member of the Minnesota North Stars in 1981 in opposition to the Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1936 in opposition to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Avalanche saved each their lead and their heads all night time and now they’re midway to snaring Lord Stanley’s Cup from the two-time reigning champs because the collection shifts to Tampa Bay for Game 3 Monday night time.
The Lightning’s confidence in successful Game 2 and gaining management of the collection was well-founded. They had been the NHL’s finest bounce-back workforce whereas successful back-to-back titles and reaching a 3rd consecutive Stanley Cup, going 18-1 after a playoff loss for the reason that begin of the primary spherical in 2020. Vasilevskiy was in internet for all of these video games.
Make that 18-2.
Colorado defenseman Cale Makar’s short-handed objective early within the third interval made it 6-0 and he poured salt within the gaping wound with a power-play objective because the Avalanche improved their league-best house file to 58-8-5 of their final 71 video games at Ball Arena, together with playoffs.
They’ve gone 7-2 at house this yr and 7-0 on the street within the playoffs.
The Lightning have but to beat the Avalanche this season, having misplaced twice within the common season in Denver, as soon as in additional time and one other time in a shootout.
If they don’t repair their myriad points shortly, they received’t get the possibility to return to Denver after Games 3 and 4 in Tampa.
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arniestapleton
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