TAMPA, Florida – The Colorado Avalanche have been crowned Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 21 years. To achieve this, he eliminated the two-time defending champions.
Avalanche defeated Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Sunday to win the final series in six games.
“It all led to that moment,” noted Avalanche defender Cale Makar, who won the Conn-Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.
This is the third title for Avalanche in its history and a first coronation since 2001.
Nathan MacKinnon was the catalyst for his team with a goal and an assist, while Artturi Lehkonen scored the winning goal. Avalanche’s two goals came in the medium term.
It is the first title for the core Avalanche led by MacKinnon, captain Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Makar after several early exits in the playoffs, in the second round in the last three seasons and in the first round in 2018.
“It’s unbelievable,” MacKinnon admitted. After a few more difficult years in the thick of it all, but now it’s over. We have never stopped believing in it. “
Almost ten years after being named club captain, Landeskog was the first to win the Stanley Cup. He then presented the prestigious trophy to defender Erik Johnson, the team’s oldest member.
After wiping out the Nashville Predators in the first round and then wiping out the St. Louis Blues in six games, the Avalanche also wiped out the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final. He finished the playoffs with a 16-4 record.
The Lightning were two wins from becoming the first team to win three titles from the New York Islanders in the 1980s.
“It’s a team trying to establish itself as a dynasty,” Makar said. We are a team looking to start a dynasty. “
Asked how other teams can replicate Avalanche’s success, Landeskog replied: “Go get yourself a Cale Makar.”
Makar won Conn-Smythe after leading Avalanche with 29 points in 20 games.
Steven Stamkos, who hit the target just under four minutes into faceoff, was the Lightning’s only scorer.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 shots in the win. His vis-à-vis, Andrei Vasilevskiy, made 28 saves.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar became the first driver to lift the Kelly Cup (ECHL), Calder Cup (AHL) and Stanley Cup.
Quebecers Samuel Girard and Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, who lost the Stanley Cup before the traditional photo with the trophy, were crowned champions for the first time in their careers.
Striker Patrick Maroon’s three-game streak has come to an end. However, Corey Perry has extended his Stanley Cup losing streak to three. He had lowered the flag with the Dallas Stars in 2020 and then with the Montreal Canadiens in 2021.
Lightning once again had to do without the Brayden Point star center.
For their part, Avalanche had to contend with the absence of the hero of the first game, the extra-time scorer, Andre Burakovsky, who was injured from the second match of the series.
A game like trench warfare
The lightning started great. After an inconclusive power play, he opened the scoring at 3:48.
The Avalanches raise the precious trophy
After exiting the area where Makar was obstructed, the puck bounced off Ondrej Palat’s skate before landing on Stamkos’ stick. The Lightning captain simply slipped the puck between Kuemper’s pads to give the hosts the lead.
Towards the end of the first period, the possibilities for the Avalanche began to arise. Nazem Kadri was frustrated by Vasilevskiy then, a few minutes later, a deflection from Lehkonen hit the post with all his might.
Only 1:54 after returning from the locker room to start the second frame, Avalanche equalized the match. Bowen Byram handed the puck to MacKinnon who pulled out upon reception. His slap went just under Vasilevskiy’s shield.
Coming down three-on-two at 12:28 in the second period, Josh Manson and MacKinnon tried to combine their efforts to score. However, MacKinnon’s pass was blocked by a Lightning player, but it ended up on the paddle of team-mate Lehkonen, who beat Vasilevskiy with a cross-bound shot.
Lightning appeared frustrated by the plot and committed several wrongdoing. Ryan McDonagh hit Darren Helm hard near the scoreboard and Stamkos fired the puck at a referee.
ContentId (3.1408920): NHL Final: The Avalanche dethrones the double champions
The Avalanche do not take their foot off the gas in the third period and continue to generate several scoring chances. Vasilevskiy, on the other hand, withstood the blows and let Lightning believe in a comeback.
Nikita Kucherov got one of his best chances in the third period, when his only half was blocked by Kuemper with just under seven minutes left. It was only Jon Cooper’s second men’s shot in the period.
With just over two minutes to go, the Lightning withdrew Vasilevskiy in favor of a sixth skater, but to no avail.
The Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup with a six-game win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
First championship for the former Canadian Artturi Lehkonen, author of the winning goal. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/gt90mBxlyX
– RDS (@RDSca) June 27, 2022
Captain Stamkos wastes no time!
MacKinnon draws on once
The winning goal is from Lehkonen!
“I am so proud of our group”
MacKinnon wins the first Cup after 9 seasons
Makar named MVP
Aubé-Kubel escapes from the Cup before the team photo!