Tampa

Amalie Arena

Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche logo
Colorado

Avalanche

72-30
power
offense
defense
record
streak

@

Final Score

2-1

power
offense
defense
record
streak
Lightning
Tampa Bay

Lightning

65-40
Tampa Bay Lightning logo

News & Analysis

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
Recap

Avalanche down Lightning, win Stanley Cup

June 27, 2022, 3:05 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Artturi Lehkonen scored the go-ahead goal in the second period to help the Colorado Avalanche win their third Stanley Cup title in franchise history, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over the host Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 on Sunday.

Colorado, which also won the title in 1996 and 2001, denied Tampa Bay's bid of completing a three-peat as Stanley Cup champion.

Nathan MacKinnon collected a goal and an assist and Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves for the Avalanche, who set a franchise record with nine road wins in a playoff year. Six clubs share the NHL record of 10 road victories.

Captain Steven Stamkos scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 28 shots for the Lightning, who were trying to become the seventh team to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in a best-of-seven Cup final.

Colorado's Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs.

Lehkonen, who hit the post late in the first period, gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with 7:32 remaining in the second. The puck banked off the leg of Tampa Bay defenseman Zach Bogosian and right to Lehkonen, who sent a shot over the glove of Vasilevskiy for his eighth goal of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay scored the first goal for the third straight game after converting a turnover at 3:48 of the first period. The puck caromed off the skate of Ondrej Palat and right to Stamkos, who sent a shot between the pads of Kuemper for his team co-leading 11th goal of the playoffs and second in the finals.

Vasilevskiy preserved the slim advantage in the first period after denying a point-blank chance Nazem Kadri before receiving help from the post on Lehkonen's shot from in front.

The Avalanche successfully answered 1:54 into the second period after MacKinnon wired a shot from deep in the left circle that banked off Vasilevskiy's blocker and into the net. MacKinnon's goal was his NHL co-leading 13th of the postseason, tying him with Edmonton's Evander Kane.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche
News

Avalanche coach: 'We'll see' about Andre Burakovsky for Game 6

June 26, 2022, 5:06 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar kept it close to the vest when asked about forward Andre Burakovsky's availability for Sunday's Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the host Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We'll see," Bednar said of Burakovsky's potential return to action.

Burakovsky, who briefly participated in the morning skate on Sunday, has been sidelined since sustaining an apparent hand injury in the Avalanche's 7-0 romp over the Lightning in Game 2 of the series.

Tampa Bay has rallied to win two of the next three games to trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Burakovsky scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4-3 win in Game 1 on June 15. The 27-year-old Austrian collected a goal and an assist in Game 2 on June 18 before taking a shot off his hand from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman in the second period.

Burakovsky has recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 games during the postseason. He registered career-high totals in goals (22), assists (39) and points (61) in 80 games during the regular season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day
News

Lightning's Brayden Point unlikely to play in Game 6 vs. Avs

June 26, 2022, 3:36 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning are not expected to have forward Brayden Point in the lineup on Sunday night when they attempt to stave off elimination against the visiting Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he doesn't anticipate altering his lineup for Sunday's game, meaning Point would not draw back in after missing the team's past three games.

"It's unfortunate because it's a severe injury," Cooper said without getting into specifics of the exact injury that is plaguing Point.

Tampa Bay, which is bidding for a three-peat as Stanley Cup champion, trails 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Colorado needs one more win to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.

Point sustained a lower-body injury on May 14 in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He missed the team's next 10 games before returning for the series opener against the Avalanche.

Point, 26, has two goals and three assists in nine playoff games.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche
Preview

Lightning look to even up series with Avalanche in Game 6

June 25, 2022, 6:06 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning prevented the Colorado Avalanche from hoisting the Stanley Cup in Denver with a spirited effort in Game 5.

The two-time defending champions will look to take another step toward keeping the cherished chalice in their case on Sunday night when they host the Avalanche in Game 6 in Tampa.

Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal with 6:22 remaining in the third period to lift the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche on Friday. Palat's 12 career game-winning goals in the playoffs trail only Joe Pavelski (14) and Evgeni Malkin (13) for the most among active players.

Tampa Bay, which survived an elimination game for the third time this postseason, still trails 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. The Lightning are bidding to join 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the lone NHL teams to successfully rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final. Those Leafs actually came back from a 3-0 series deficit.

"We extend the season and that's what we wanted to do," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "We talked about one game at a time. It was a grind, but we found a way. Great effort and now we've got to do it again."

Pat Maroon is aware of that. After all, the 34-year-old Lightning forward knows a thing or two about winning the Stanley Cup after doing so in each of the past three seasons.

"Listen, this is a huge challenge for us," Maroon said. "An exciting challenge, too. You've got to be excited for this challenge and embrace it."

Tampa Bay has an impressive 8-2 record at home in the playoffs with an average of 3.70 goals scored per game. The Lightning return to Amalie Arena for the first time since dropping a 3-2 decision in overtime on Wednesday.

Colorado, in turn, has won the first three series on the road and is a sizzling 8-1 away from home in the postseason. The high-octane Avalanche have averaged a robust 4.56 goals and 44.0 percent power-play efficiency on the road.

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog, like Stamkos, publicly said he wants his team to focus on Game 6 -- rather than dwell on the events of Game 5.

"It's not supposed to be easy and it's not going to be easy," Landeskog said. "We knew that coming into this, we knew that coming into (Friday). ... (Andrei) Vasilevskiy had another good night. We felt good about our game, we tied it up in the third and then obviously they created a slot shot there that squeezes through (Darcy Kuemper).

"So, it is what it is. Short memory in the playoffs, and that's what we're going to do."

Colorado defenseman Cale Makar collected a goal and an assist for his eighth multi-point performance of the playoffs. The Norris Trophy recipient trails only Hockey Hall of Famers Al MacInnis (10, 1989), Brian Leetch (nine, 1994) and Paul Coffey (nine, 1985) for the most by an NHL defenseman in a single playoff year.

Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin also had a goal and an assist Friday for his fourth multi-point performance in his past seven games.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche
News

Avalanche's Andre Burakovsky a 'possibility' to play in Game 6

June 25, 2022, 4:06 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky is a "possibility" to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the host Tampa Bay Lightning, coach Jared Bednar said Saturday.

Burakovsky has been sidelined since sustaining an apparent hand injury in the Avalanche's 7-0 romp over the Lightning in Game 2 of the series.

The Lightning have rallied to win two of the next three games to trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is Sunday night in Tampa.

Burakovsky scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4-3 win in Game 1 on June 15. The 27-year-old Austrian collected a goal and an assist in Game 2 last Saturday before taking a shot off his hand from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman in the second period.

Burakovsky has recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 games during the postseason. He registered career-high totals in goals (22), assists (39) and points (61) in 80 games during the regular season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
Betting

Avalanche favored to close out Lightning in Game 5

June 24, 2022, 8:02 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

It has been 21 years and 15 days since the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. They have three chances to do it again, starting with Friday night at Denver.

Colorado leads the Stanley Cup Final 3-1 after beating the Lightning 3-2 in overtime at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night on what Lightning coach Jon Cooper said was a goal that shouldn't have counted.

Now his team has to climb out of a big hole -- and win two road games -- to capture its third straight title.

The Lightning are a consensus underdog entering Game 5.

Colorado is a 1.5-goal favorite at DraftKings, where it has drawn one-sided action with 80 percent of the spread-line bets while Tampa Bay has garnered more of the spread handle at 58 percent.

The Avalanche opened at -150 at BetMGM but the line had moved to -175 by Friday with Colorado backed by 70 percent of the spread bets and 88 percent of the handle.

Tampa Bay faces a tough task that has been made even harder with injuries. Brayden Point, who didn't play in Game 4, is likely out for Game 5 and Eric Cernak didn't play much Wednesday, leaving Tampa Bay with just five defensemen most of the game.

Cooper did not have an update on injuries as of Thursday afternoon.

The Lightning are not ready to concede the title to the Avalanche despite the two-game hole.

"We haven't lost yet," Tampa Bay forward Pat Maroon said. "It's the first one to four wins right now. We've got a challenge in front of us, but if it's one team that can do it, it's this team."

The Lightning are facing elimination after Colorado had a few fortunate bounces in Game 4. The first Avalanche goal went off Nathan MacKinnon's skate and the tying goal in the third period bounced off Andrew Cogliano's leg.

Then there was the overtime goal, which Cooper thought happened with Colorado having six skaters on the ice. MacKinnon was skating toward the bench when Nazem Kadri jumped on the ice and scored the winner seconds later.

"It's impossible to say what's the right decision there," Tampa Bay forward Ryan McDonagh said. "It's so fast and it probably happens a million times a game more than we think."

The Avalanche are on the brink of a title, in part because of key lineup decisions. Coach Jared Bednar stuck with Darcy Kuemper in net and he came through with 37 saves Wednesday, and he put Kadri in the lineup for the first time since June 4.

He also shuffled the lines somewhat and tinkered with defensive pairings, putting Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar with Erik Johnson and pairing Devon Toews with Bowen Byram.

Byram was the one player who was certain Kadri's shot went in despite confusion on the ice. The puck went under Andrei Vasilevskiy's right arm and lodged in the top of the net, giving Colorado a dramatic win.

"I've been waiting for this my whole life," Kadri said. "I figured it was time to join the party."

The party will be big if the Avalanche can close it out on home ice Friday night. They are 7-2 at home in the playoffs, with both losses coming in the second round against St. Louis.

Colorado knows it can't let up despite the 3-1 series lead. Andre Burakovsky is likely out for Friday, and despite his heroics, Kadri's surgically repaired thumb is not 100 percent.

"They're going to bring their best and we need to do the same thing," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said of the Lightning. "It's obviously exciting to get a big win on the road in overtime, but we have a big day of rest (Thursday) and get ready for Friday."

The 6.0-goal Over/Under at BetMGM has seen the Over supported by 94 percent of the bets and 92 percent of the handle. Meanwhile, the most-bet player props have all been placed on MacKinnon: +900 to score the first goal of the game, +115 to score at any time during the game and -135 that he will take more than 4.5 shots.

DraftKings' Over/Under is also at 6.0 total goals, with the Over receiving one-sided action with 80 percent of the bets while also drawing 66 percent of the spread handle.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day
News

Lightning coach on Nazem Kadri's OT goal: 'I've moved on'

June 23, 2022, 5:48 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper had much more to say on Thursday, mere hours after his team dropped a controversial 3-2 decision in overtime to the visiting Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Cooper was not as forthcoming when he held a short news conference on Wednesday night, during which he questioned whether Nazem Kadri's goal at 12:02 of overtime should have been allowed to stand. Replays showed the Avalanche had six skaters on the ice when Kadri gained the puck in the neutral zone seconds before scoring.

Colorado owns a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 5 on Friday night in Denver.

Teams that hold a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the series 35 of 36 times. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs escaped a 3-0 hole in the finals to beat the Detroit Red Wings.

While Cooper excused himself after one question on Wednesday, he was more than willing to talk on Thursday.

"They're reviewing whether the puck's in the net. The only way I can find out is I have to go back in the room and look at the tape," Cooper said. "You do and then you have to face all of you (the media) five minutes after an emotional loss, so I apologize for last night because that's what you get when you have to speak to the media right away.

"What's great about today is that it's not yesterday. Now, we've got some excitement for Game 5 and that's where my mind's turning on how to win that. Nothing we can do to turn back. They missed it. It's unfortunate, but it's water under the bridge now. Should be a hell of a Game 5."

Cooper was asked if the play should have been reviewable.

"That is not for me (to say)," he said. "I explained. It was an emotional time last night, but I've moved on."

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche
News

Avalanche F Nazem Kadri returns for Cup Final debut

June 23, 2022, 12:30 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup for Stanley Cup Final Game 4 against the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Kadri missed the first three games of the series as well as his team's final Western Conference finals clash due to a thumb injury that required surgery. He got hurt when he was hit from behind against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the series that ended in a four-game Colorado sweep.

Kadri, who plays center on the second line and is a strong checker, went into the Wednesday game having collected six goals and 14 points in 13 playoff games this year.

The Avalanche led the best-of-seven finals 2-1 heading into Wednesday's contest.

The Lightning appear to have avoided an injury issue with leading scorer forward Nikita Kucherov in the lineup after he left with six minutes left in Game 3 on Monday.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
News

Lightning's Nikita Kucherov in, Brayden Point out for Game 4

June 22, 2022, 3:36 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Forward Nikita Kucherov will be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Coach Jon Cooper confirmed Wednesday morning that the Lightning will use the same lineup as in Game 3.

Brayden Point, who did not play in Tampa Bay's 6-2 win in Game 3 on Monday, will sit out Game 4 as well.

"I haven't ruled him out for the series, but he's out for tonight," Cooper said of Point.

Forward Nick Paul will remain in the lineup for the Lightning, who trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Kucherov, 29, exited Monday's game with 6:05 remaining in the third period after falling awkwardly following a penalized crosscheck from Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews.

Kucherov was headed toward the boards when Toews hit him, and his left leg buckled. The former Hart Trophy recipient attempted to take part in the ensuing five-on-three power play but left the ice in discomfort.

He collected two assists in the game, giving him 25 points in each of the Lightning's three consecutive Stanley Cup years. He is the fourth player in league history with three straight 25-point postseasons, joining Bryan Trottier (1980-82), Mike Bossy (1981-83) and Wayne Gretzky (1983-85).

Point sustained a lower-body injury on May 14 in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He missed the team's next 10 games before returning for the series opener against the Avalanche.

Point, 26, has two goals and three assists in nine playoff games.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
News

Lightning's Nikita Kucherov likely to play in Game 4

June 21, 2022, 5:53 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov is likely to play in Game 4 but fellow forward Brayden Point is expected to miss his second straight game, coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday.

Kucherov exited Monday's 6-2 victory against Colorado in Game 3 after a third-period hit from Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews.

"As I sit right now, I think he can play tomorrow," Cooper said. "But I'm not Kuch. If I know Kuch, he's sitting there saying the same thing. But we'll see what the doctors and everybody says."

Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final is Wednesday night in Tampa. The Avalanche hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against the two-time defending champions.

Kucherov, 29, leads the Lightning with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 20 games this postseason.

Toews received a minor penalty on the play, which Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman called "dangerous." NHL Player Safety opted not to discipline Toews, ESPN reported.

The Lightning are likely to be without center Brayden Point for a second straight game due to a lower-body injury originally suffered in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Cooper said Point is "highly doubtful" for Game 4.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
News

Nikita Kucherov leaves Game 3 after penalized cross check

June 21, 2022, 3:26 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov left Monday's Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final with six minutes remaining after falling awkwardly following a penalized cross check from Devon Toews of the Colorado Avalanche.

Kucherov was headed toward the boards when Toews hit him, and his left leg buckled. He attempted to take part in the ensuing five-on-three power play, but left the ice in discomfort.

Kucherov collected two assists in the game, giving him 25 points in each of the Lightning's three consecutive Stanley Cup years. He is the fourth player in league history with three straight 25-point postseasons.

The Lightning won Game 3 6-2 to cut Colorado's series advantage to 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche
News

Lightning's Brayden Point game-time decision for Game 3

June 20, 2022, 4:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point was absent from Monday's morning skate and will be a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the visiting Colorado Avalanche, coach Jon Cooper announced.

Cooper noted that star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy will start Monday night's game despite missing the morning skate for rest purposes.

Point has one assist in two games in this series for the Lightning, who trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

The 26-year-old had just returned to action after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury sustained in Game 7 of Tampa Bay's first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Point recorded 58 points (28 goals, 30 assists) in 66 games during the regular season. In nine playoff games, he had two goals and three assists.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche
News

Andre Burakovsky will not travel with Avalanche to Tampa

June 19, 2022, 5:28 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky will not travel with the team to Tampa on Sunday after sustaining an apparent hand injury in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Coach Jared Bednar told reporters Burakovsky is still being evaluated and would rejoin his teammates in Tampa on Monday. His availability for Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday remains unknown.

The Avalanche hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Burakovsky scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4-3 win in the series opener on Wednesday. The 27-year-old Austrian collected a goal and an assist in the Avalanche's 7-0 romp on Saturday before taking a shot off his hand from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman in the second period.

Burakovsky has recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 games during the postseason. He registered a career-high 61 points (22 goals, 39 assists) in 80 games in the regular season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day
News

Lightning coach: Brayden Point 'looks like he’s a go' for Game 1

June 15, 2022, 5:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point appears poised to make his return to the lineup in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in Denver.

"Pointer looks like he's a go," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday after the team's morning skate.

Point has missed 10 games since sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the team's first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has practiced with fellow forwards Nicholas Paul and Ross Colton over the past two days.

Point, 26, recorded 58 points (28 goals, 30 assists) in 66 games during the regular season. In seven playoff games, he had two goals and two assists.

No player has scored more goals (30) over the past three NHL postseasons than Point, who last played May 14.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche
News

Avalanche decline to name starting goaltender ahead of Game 1

June 15, 2022, 5:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar declined to name his starting goaltender ahead of Wednesday's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

Darcy Kuemper, however, was in the starter's net during the morning skate Wednesday in Denver. Pavel Francouz relieved an injured Kuemper (upper body) to help the Avalanche sweep the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference finals.

"Our guys are comfortable with our goaltending here as well," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Tuesday. "Both goalies can play. Darcy is 100 percent healthy now. He had a tough time with health for the one round, but he's ready to go.

"We're definitely confident in both goalies. They both won six games in the playoffs. Our guys are excited."

Kuemper, 35, is 6-2 with a 2.65 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage in 10 games in the playoffs.

Francouz, 32, is 6-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .906 save percentage.

Bednar labeled Nazem Kadri (thumb) and Andrew Cogliano (upper body) as "day-to-day" despite missing Wednesday's morning skate. The coach declined to say if either forward would play in the series opener.

--Field Level Media