DENVER – As one of the hockey clichés says, whether it’s one goal or seven goals, a defeat is always a defeat. The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping, however, that Saturday night’s match does not leave its mark.
The Colorado Avalanche beat the Lightning from start to finish and claimed a landslide 7-0 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Avalanches leave the electrifying atmosphere of the Ball Arena with a 2-0 lead in the final. He had triumphed in extra time in the first game.
For the Lightning, now it’s about repeating what they achieved in the previous round, when they scored four straight wins after coming home 2-0 against the New York Rangers.
Match 3 of the final will take place Monday night at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.
Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin both moved the ropes twice to lead the Avalanche attack, which gave the rival his hands full from the early outings of the evening. Andre Burakovsky scored a goal and an assist while Darren Helm and Josh Manson added a goal each.
Mikko Rantanen was instrumental in three goals for his side, while Alex Newhook and Andrew Cogliano both contributed to two goals for Avalanche. Darcy Kuemper needed just 17 saves to record her first playoff stop.
Although he conceded seven goals out of 30 shots, Andrei Vasilevskiy saved the furniture on several occasions for Lightning. The Russian goalkeeper has had to face several excess numbers and several escapes, but he didn’t make it alone.
Avalanche got off to a spectacular start and stormed Vasilevskiy’s network. This intensity forced Ryan McDonagh to take an expensive roughing penalty.
The Colorado troops silently weaved their web on the power game, and Burakovsky made a lively pass into the slot. Well installed, Nichushkin redirected the puck behind Lightning’s goalkeeper.
The speed and pressure of the Avalanche put their opponents in difficulty a few minutes later. Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog grazed the net and the Swede’s shot was deflected out of the playing area by Erik Cernak. Moments later, Rantanen serves Jan Rutta a cup of coffee, but his backhand shot hits Vasilevskiy’s left shoulder.
It was just a postponement for the hosts, who took advantage of McDonagh’s low offensive pressure to double their lead. Andrew Cogliano started an overplay by pushing the puck to Manson and the defender deceived Vasilevskiy’s vigilance with a shot from the wrists under the blocker.
Things didn’t get any better for the visitors, who saw Burakovsky thread the needle at 1:52 pm. The hero of the first match of the final slipped the puck to Rantanen before scoring on the Finn’s return.
Avalanche’s dominance continued into the second period and crowd favorites added two goals to the scoreboard.
After grabbing a loose puck behind the net, lightning-fast striker Ondrej Palat handed the item to Rantanen. The latter quickly spotted Nichushkin in the middle of the hoops and the Russian moved the ropes for the second time in the match.
Avalanche’s counter-attacks had given the Lightning a hard time in the first period and this is how Jared Bednar’s men were able to take the lead 5-0. Logan O’Connor blocked a Ross Colton pass and Helm used his speed to enter the enemy zone. His sharp shot surprised Vasilevskiy over the glove.
The shorthand unit of Avalanche was also involved, from the third minute of the last third. Makar grabbed the puck in his territory and created a two-on-one climb which he himself finished with a powerful shot under Vasilevskiy’s wall.
The power play put the finishing touches on a practically flawless performance by the Avalanche when Makar found the bottom of the net in a nice three-way rally.
Vasilevskiy deprives Nichushkin of a hat-trick