After two straight blowouts at the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 It was a complete thriller between them Colorado Avalanche Tampa Bay Lightning.
After regulation, the game was tied at 2:2. At 12:02 in overtime, the game was tied. Nazem Kadri The game-winning goal was scored by Nazem Kadri, yes, that same Nazem Kadri who had broken his thumb in the Western Conference finals.
What were the lessons we took away from this game? What does this all mean for Game 5 Friday, when the Avs are one win away from a Stanley Cup?
Kadri makes a big comeback
After Kadri's Wednesday morning skate, even though Bednar didn't confirm it, the signs were there: Kadri was ready to play in Game 4. He was also the overtime hero.
Since being boarded by, the forward had not played. Evander Kane His thumb was broken in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, June 4. Kadri began skating again soon after his surgery. Bednar stated that Kadri was included in the lineup because of his pain management.
Kadri returned, so Bednar shuffled his lines accordingly. Gabriel Landeskog Valeri Nichushkin Off Nathan MacKinnonKadri's flanks. Landeskog can make left-side faces for Kadri and he is as big as Nichushkin so they could insulate Kadri more than one way.
Kadri's distance from 100% was evident quickly. He was unable to shoot the puck at his usual force so he was overpassing to compensate. He tried to make an impact on every shift, whether it was nerves or his thumb that held Kadri back.
It was fitting that he took the marker that would give Colorado a lead of 3-1 in the Cup Final. Kadri was adamant about Colorado's victory and took the only shot in the game. — Kristen Shilton
Nazemkadri reacts when the Avalanche scored the game-winning goal in overtime. This gave them a 3-1 series lead going into the Stanley Cup Final.
When they had all the momentum during Game 4, the Lightning didn't capitalize. They didn’t make use of their power plays. The Avalanche's rest advantage before the Stanley Cup Final was more evident the longer the game lasted. The Lightning were playing pure counterpunch mode by the time Kadri scored, with the Avalanche absorbing much of the play.
They now face a seemingly impossible task. Teams that have a lead of 3-1 in a best-7 hold an all-time series record 298-31 (.906). This includes a clip of 2-1 (.667) in 2022, and a 35-1 mark (.972) in the Stanley Cup Final. They are returning to Colorado, where they will lose the line-matching advantage that they enjoyed at home.
After this loss, it will take the heart of a champion to make the Lightning three-peat. — Greg Wyshynski
Colorado could not have foreseen that. Darcy Kuemper You can't.
Tampa Bay was able to win 1-0 against the Avalanche in just 36 seconds. The Lightning showed good offensive pressure early on. Erik Cernak Kuemper was hit with a shot that knocked off the mask of the goaltender. Kuemper couldn't stop the shot. Anthony CirelliIt was the play that brought Tampa Bay to the board.
Normally, when a goalie's face is removed, there's an immediate whistle. But in this case, there was an ongoing scoring possibility, so play was allowed to continue.
Anthony Cirelli scores in just 36 seconds of Game 4 to give Lightning a 1-0 edge.
Tampa Bay continued its dominance after the initial goal. Kuemper was under siege after the Lightning outshot Colorado 17-4 during 20 minutes. But he managed to keep the score at 1 Nathan MacKinnon Finally, the goalie was able to score his first goal of Cup Final from a Mikko Rantanen MacKinnon was able to pass the puck. In either case, the score was tied.
Victor Hedman Tampa Bay regained a 2-1 advantage that they would take into the third. Nico Sturm Install Andrew Cogliano The third quarter is a crucial time to tie the game.
It was the type of back-and forth we haven’t yet seen in this series. We have seen total dominance (in 7-0 finals and 6-2 finals), and one wild overtime ender. After a long first period, this night was much more strategic. Both sides weathered the momentum swings well. It felt as though Colorado and Tampa Bay had finally settled down, that they were figuring each other out. It was only fair that overtime was necessary to determine a winner after all this.
What does this mean for the future? Is this the beginning of a highly contested series? This was an exception and there will be more blowouts. — Shilton
Continued dominance of Avs special teams
It wasn't the most beautiful power-play goal. The puck bounced off Nathan MacKinnon’s skate. Andrei Vasilevskiy At 5:17 in the second period. The Avalanche have always been the best on special teams in this series, and it was yet another power-play goal.
With the man advantage, Colorado now has a record of 6-for-13 in Game 4. This is a ridiculously high conversion rate of 46.2%. The Lightning had a 77.9% penalty killing rate overall, and only 67.9% on their home ice.
“They have a great power play and they benefit from it. It gives them energy. We have a great PK, and I know that the bounces will eventually start going our direction. Jon Cooper, coach, stated that he is not concerned.
However, there might be cause for concern regarding the Lightning power play. 13 of 14 power play in the series were killed by the Avalanche. This is incredible considering the talent that Tampa Bay has in its power-play unit. Cooper said that his penalty was about “killing them off at just the right moment.” In Game 1 and 4, the series' tightest games — Game 1 & 4, one Lightning power-play goal would have made all the differences. — Wyshynski
As the Avalanche tied it in the second period, Mikko Randanen's shot in the power-play deflects off Nathan MacKinnon’s skate.
Its speed was the reason Colorado took a 2-0 lead during this series. While there were other factors that could have played a role, speed was one of the major ones.
The Avalanche dominated Tampa Bay's first two home games. They outskated Tampa Bay across the ice in both of their first two games. They also were quick through neutral zone to get to pucks and then took them away. Lightning was hounded by the Avalache's swift-twitch rush attack.
That speed was slowed down by the Florida heat.
For the first half, Colorado was closer to skating in sand than it was for Game 4. Their determination and forechecking were stalled. Is it possible that the Lightning were moving faster above Denver? Perhaps something had drastically changed for Colorado.
The Avalanche found more of their legs in overtime and third period. They had a noticeable improvement in their game.
It's worth noting the difficulty in getting there. Colorado's success is based on playing fast and up ice. Without the rush, it is difficult to make those great opportunities. While the Lightning made adjustments, Colorado can also make them and bring back that pace. This will be crucial now that Tampa Bay has nothing at stake. — Shilton
Hedman's major move
It was an unusual night last night for Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. It was the night prior to Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final. They were wearing suits at the NHL Awards dinner held at a Tampa brewery.
Hedman was all dressed up to see Makar win the Norris Trophy for NHL's best defenceman. Hedman was nominated six times for the award. He won it only once. Hedman was likely satisfied in the second period. He drew a goal past Kuemper's blocker to take a 2-1 lead.
Hedman played a very active game for the Lightning. Hedman's 2022 playoffs game was probably his best.
He said, “You don’t look at your point sheet at this moment of the year, you see the win sheet.” “It doesn’t really matter how you get it. You just want to get it done.” — Wyshynski
Victor Hedman skates towards the goal and sends a backhand shot in the goal. This gives the Lightning a 2-1 lead at the end of the second period.
Counting on Kuemper
Kuemper's confidence may have been lost with his mask at that first goal.
The starter for Colorado was removed midway through Game 3. He had allowed five goals on 22 shots and Jared Bednar gave the nod to him for Game 4. However, Tampa Bay's first goal could have sent Kuemper right to his head. It seemed to motivate the netminder. He was the only thing that kept Colorado alive in the first 20 minutes of the game, when the Avalanche outshot Colorado 17-4. He saved a remarkable save. Steven Stamkos and was sharp in his analysis of the Lightning's powerplay push.
Kuemper continued to keep the pucks out until MacKinnon put one in his skate for the Avs during the power play. The Avalanche were being outplayed at 5-on-5, so it was a victory to see the game tie.
Victor Hedman's goal following that? A stoppable backhand? Kuemper. In the playoffs, he has been astonished at his inconsistency. Kuemper made key stops again as Colorado fought back with a fourth-line goal that tied the game.
Bednar has spoken highly of Kuemper's ability and willingness to pull together for the Avalanche in times of need. Kuemper's ability to regroup and come up big for the Avalanche when it matters most is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates.
Kuemper, Colorado's best solution in net (no disrespect) Pavel Francouz). In 37 saves, he ended up being quite good. Given the stakes in the Cup Final, it's hard to not wonder if his streakiness could make the team nervous. — Shilton