2022 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 of Avalanche–Lightning was everything we could have hoped for

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final Between the Colorado Avalanche Tampa Bay Lightning The game got off to an exciting start with Colorado taking a 3-1 lead after the first period. Tampa Bay tied it in the second and the Avalanche winning the final. 4-3 Overtime

What were our biggest lessons from Game 1 and how does it affect the series? We asked Kristen Shilton (hockey reporter) and Greg Wyshynski (journalist) to share their top takeaways from Game 1 of the Avs' victory.

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Burning questions for the series

2022 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 of Avalanche–Lightning was everything we could have hoped for

Everything exactly as described

This Stanley Cup Final could be one to remember, if Game 1 is any indication.

In the first period, Colorado won. In the second, Tampa Bay won. By the third quarter, the teams were tied 3-3. It was only natural that overtime would be necessary.

When Andre Burakovsky Colorado scored a wonderful goal and it was almost disappointing that the evening ended. It could have been endless.

Andrei Vasilevskiy He wasn't at his best for Tampa Bay. He gave up three goals on 15 shots during the first period. But he rebounded to play like the Vezina Trophy winning Lightning player. You can count on him to give a better performance in Game 2.

Colorado's resilience continues to shine through. The Avalanche have not been affected by any downs or ups during the playoffs. Wednesday night was no different. A two-goal advantage over the two-time Cup champions could have been enough to get in the way of a lesser team. Not Colorado. They have been true to themselves throughout their success in the playoffs. There was never panic. Again, the Avalanche proved its depth.

When these two meet again on Saturday, what's the future? Please, more of the same. There's more. — Kristen Shilton


Lightning has been around before

For the Lightning, losing a Game 1 game isn't a major loss. It's actually quite commonplace on their path to a three-peat.

The Lightning have lost five of the 11 playoff series they've played since 2020. This includes two of the three series in this playoff season: The Lightning dropped their opening games to the Toronto Maple Leafs New York Rangers With a total score of 11-2. They've won each series with a rallying effort.

“I think that's what's great about our group: We haven't been to many situations,” said winger. Alex Killorn said. It feels like we have seen it all. We don't worry. We're confident going forward. However, there is still much to be done.

The Lightning and their coach were clear after their Game 1 loss against the Avalanche. They felt they “dipped our toes” rather than being more established in the first half, which allowed Colorado to gain an early two-goal advantage.

“Maybe we were just trying for a feeling for them. It can't be the other way around. It's up to us to set the tone. We knew they would get off to a good start. Killorn explained that they weren't quite ready.

Coach Jon Cooper tried to highlight the positives in the effort.

“When you lose Game 1, it's hard to feel good about yourself. It was obvious that we were a bit too eager to get in the water at the start of the game. “But there were parts of that game I liked, and there were others I didn’t,” the coach said.

“So, we need to get this cleaned up. Although there were some positive signs, the game was won by the right team. Give them credit for pulling it all out.

The Lightning felt like they did in Game 1: that their opponent hadn’t seen the best of them because it was yet.

“We've gotten better in ourselves, though. We didn't give them our best game, but we still had the chance to win it. Cooper stated that to defeat a team as talented as that, we have a better game.

They need one. It is well-known that losing the first game of a series in a series is not ideal. The Stanley Cup Final has been a best-of-7 series since 1939. Teams that win Game 1 have a series record of 62-20 (.756). If the Lightning lose 2-0 to the Avalanche it would be a two-game gap in the conference finals as well as the Stanley Cup Final. According to ESPN Stats & Info, no team has trailed 2-0 in the final two rounds of the playoffs since the Chicago Black Hawks in 1965. Only four NHL teams have ever done this — none of them winning the Stanley Cup. — Greg Wyshynski


Rust? What is rust?

The eight days Colorado had between Game 4 and Game 1 of Cup Final was the subject of much talk. It was all a lot of nonsense.

After a long break, the Avalanche didn't show any signs of rust. Although the first few shifts were not perfect (on both sides), it was normal to feel nervous about starting the most important game in your season.

The first minute was the last time Colorado felt any effects from not playing for more that a week.

To generate the crucial scoring momentum, the Avalanche used a momentum shifting penalty kill in the first period. It took just 40 seconds for the Avalanche to finish. Josh Manson Was released from the box Gabriel Landeskog It was 1-0. The Cup Final's first goal was scored in the Cup Final by the captain, who at Colorado's lowest point in 2017 thought that the team might never achieve this kind of success.

It took less than two minutes to complete the task. Valeri Nichushkin The Avalanche was up 2-0.

The first half of the period was over. Colorado was not the team that seemed sleepy at this point. The Avs led 3-1 at the end.

In the second period, Colorado was unable to win. Tampa Bay scored two goals in quick succession to tie the score at 3-3. They had enough energy to beat the Lightning when they needed it most. In overtime, Burakovsky scored his winner.

Another example of Colorado's depth was shown. The Avalanche are not dependent on their stars for production. This depth will continue pushing Tampa Bay's buttons and challenging even an all-world netminder, like Vasilevskiy. — Shilton


Rally around Vasy

This was statistically the worst start to a game Vasilevskiy had in his entire career. It was the Lightning's first goalie to allow three goals in a single period. Although the 5-on-3 goal by Artturi Lehkonen He was gifted with a penalty by his teammates, making it 3-1. The first two goals he gave up were uncharacteristically difficult to stop: Landeskog hit in the puck and Landeskog made it five holes.

It is a testament to Vasilevskiy's importance to the Lightning that the postgame comments were supportive, but actually exonerating.

“I thought that he was dialed into. He struggled with the first one, which was moving screen. Perhaps the second. Cooper agreed.

His teammates were proud of the fact that Vasilevskiy made 34 saves during the game, helping him to stabilize himself until Burakovsky's overtime win.

“That's expected. This is why he's considered one of the top in the world. Killorn explained that Killorn is always prepared to perform well in these situations.

It's clear to see that Vasilevskiy won't repeat his Game 1 missteps. Vasilevskiy is currently 1-3 in his first playoff series with a 3.99 goals-against and a.884 save rate. Games 2-7 are the same series. Vasilevskiy is 11-3, with a 1.90 GAA (and a.939 Save percentage).

Vasy is clearly a difference-maker. The world's best goalie. He is our best player. He is a great player. He almost did it tonight,” defenseman Mikhail Sergachev said. — Wyshynski


Confident in Kuemper?

Colorado had not played for a while. Darcy Kuemper His absence was even longer than that of his teammates.

The Avalanche's goalie for the Avalanche was injured in an upper-body accident on May 30, which led to him missing more than two months.

Pavel Francouz He won four consecutive games in his absence, but Kuemper was back at the start line for Game 1 in the Cup Final.

Kuemper played solidly in the postseason (2.65 GAA,.897SV%), while also battling injuries in the first (eye) round and in the conference finals. After making some good saves on Colorado's first penalty kill, Kuemper was defeated by Nick Paul After that, he began to walk around. Erik Johnson Kuemper alone, and he went in.

Kuemper struggled with Kuemper's inability to keep up with Lightning's offensive attacks. He made one outstanding save. Nikita Kucherov Kucherov was the first to arrive in the ring, but they were unable to answer their questions. Ondrej Palat For a goal, followed by less than one minute later Mikhail Sergachev‘s game-tying score.

Kuemper needed to be strong in the third. He was able to hold Tampa Bay off and allow Colorado to win overtime. Kuemper finished the game with 20 saves and a.870 save rate. Although it's not an impressive stat, Colorado was encouraged by Kuemper's performance in the third. Knowing Francouz is there to support him and available to take over should motivate Kuemper to do more in Game 2 and beyond, when the series gets tighter. — Shilton

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Andre Burakovsky reacts after scoring the overtime goal that gave the Avalanche Game 1 victory in Stanley Cup Final.


Brayden Point, Lightning center, knew exactly what he was doing. Before Game 1, Brayden pointed, the Lightning center, acknowledged that he was still learning from the lower-body injury he sustained in Game 7 against Maple Leafs on May 14th. It might take him some time to adapt to the Stanley Cup playoffs speed and flow.

Point was able to play 17:59 in Game 1 skating with forwards Nick Paul Ross Colton. He received a secondary help on Paul's first goal of the period, which gave him five points over eight playoff games. He was able to see first-unit power play.

There were moments when he seemed like himself. For example, when he almost stuckhandled through three Avalanche defensemen on a zone entrance. Although he was not able to register any shot attempts in the game, there were times when he looked a bit behind. Point was still recovering from his injuries and the postgame press conference served as a reminder.

Despite this, the Lightning were inspired and impressed by his performance.

He's a warrior. He's going all out to win. It's wonderful for him to return and great for the team to see him out there. He played very well,” captain Steven Stamkos said.

Killorn said, “Whenever he's back in the lineup, it is huge for our team.” “His ability to skate is similar to their players in that he can dominate a game.”

Coach Jon Cooper believed it was an important return to his team for now and throughout the series.

“Point helps our team. Brayden Point was Brayden Point before the injury? Cooper stated that although it is unlikely, this was his first game in over a month. “We played the fastest team of the league and that was the best we could do.” Cooper stated, “So it's hard to jump in, but I thought that he did great.” — Wyshynski


Death penalty with potent force

In Game 1, Colorado's penalty killing was exceptional. Without it, the Avalanche could have been in serious trouble. It sets up an interesting storyline for Game 2 of the Cup Final.

On Wednesday, Tampa Bay received one of its most dangerous players back Brayden PointHe was also right back on the team’s top power play group. Colorado can't even handle the idea of point.

However, the Avalanche's penalty-kill was more than capable. It was aggressive in challenging Lightning's shooters. Key shot blocks were made by players, including one that was huge. Jack Johnson Tampa Bay's first power-play — got the clears, even though the Lightning struggled to keep pucks out of the zone.

On Tampa Bay's two first attempts, Colorado only allowed two shots. The Avalanche's third kill, with the game tied at the end of the third period, was their greatest. Every decision could have lead to a go ahead goal. The Avalanche made every right move, ignoring the minor infraction. It is difficult to find the right balance between doing too much and not enough. Colorado's goal was perfect.

Game 1 was a great example of why special teams are so important. It couldn't get more evenly matched between Tampa Bay, Colorado, and Tampa Bay. One side could have an advantage on one night's power play, while the other side could have an advantage on another. The margin for error on the ice is extremely thin. What we will see is how one factor can ultimately affect the outcome. — Shilton

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