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Seems to be by far the best team against the defending champions, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-0 in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final Saturday night to advance 2-0 in a best-of-seven series.
Valery Nyushchkin scored his seventh and eighth goals in the playoffs and went on to be the best player on the ice in the final, overtime champion Andrei Burakovsky in the first game outplayed Andrei Vasilevsky again and even defender Josh Manson and 35-year-old grinder Darren Helm entered the fun with one goal. . Playoff MVP Kal Makar scored twice in the third half, prompting chants of “We want the cup!” From an excited crowd.
“They’re playing at an elite level right now – give them credit. We’re not.” Lightning coach John Cooper He said. “They are two good teams. They are playing at a much higher level than we are now.”
Lightning has rarely been completely outdone during this streak of post-season success, but they also haven’t faced an opponent. Like an avalancheWhich forced them to make one uncharacteristic mistake after another. Colorado was dominant in every aspect of the game to take two wins away from its first title since 2001 and the first from that team led by Nathan McKinnon.
The Avalanche goes to Tampa for Game 3 Monday night even in the series even though there are no targets in the series from MacKinnon. They only became the third team in NHL history to score more than three goals in the first period of Games 1 and 2 in the Final.
“We played a very good match,” Helm said. “We just played a full 60-minute match.”
The dominant performance began with the pounce on an early foul by trusted Lightning defender Eric Cernak when he dribbled the disc at the blue line in one of the game’s first turnovers. It was all an avalanche after that.
Their aggressive scrutiny led them to a penalty kick on veteran Ryan McDonagh, and he scored in the strong play that followed when Burakowski fed Nisushkin on his first night. It wasn’t the last, and Colorado hit it with six of the game’s first seven shots and total control of the territory with much of the game playing at the end of Tampa Bay.
“We went out with a goal,” said striker Andio Cogliano, who returned after missing the first match with a right finger injury. “We got to our game, we skated off the puck’s drop and didn’t slacken.”
With Vasilevskiy – whose game was key to Lightning’s incredible rebounding ability after losing in the playoffs – he looked quivering and even toppled his head after allowing Makar to beat him clean in one of their many 2v1 lunges, making the avalanche more of all time their offensive zone . The team with the highest score in this post-season put a clinic against the team that has played more hockey than anyone else over the past two years.
That may have taken its toll in the end, and was exacerbated by the sheer speed with which the avalanche plays out. Once again, not only did they outsmart the lightning, they used their swift feet to force fouls that turned into targets.
“Are you shocked that we lost 7 zip files?” Lightning captain Stephen Stamkus said. “I mean, I don’t think we saw that coming.”
Tampa Bay has fallen to 18-2 after losing since the start of the first round in 2020. It ended its 18-streak streak in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers when Lightning fell 2-0 behind before rebounding, although it’s hard to see Colorado fall in the same The trap.
Even if players ignore the concept of game-to-game momentum during the playoff series, their lead over the champions combined with a 7-0 road record should fill the avalanche with confidence. But they may again need to plunge into their own depth pond due to injuries.
After Andrew Cogliano returned from the season opener with a right finger injury, Burakovsky’s avalanche lost again in the second half. Burakowski saved a shot in the first game in the West Final and has been in pain ever since. Coach Jared Bednar said he will be reassessed before the second game.
Colorado caused a lot of pain in Tampa Bay, who resorted to some rough stuff after falling behind. Of course, even McKinnon was taking kicks in the third inning even though the match was good.
Darcy Comber tested hard in the net for Colorado, hitting 17 saves.
“It was just rock solid,” Manson said. “It was exactly what we needed to be.”