The Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning now moves to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., for Game 3. Stick here for live updates leading up to and during the game. Refresh to see our latest analysis.
Third period highlights
One spicy quote from Jon Cooper (10:43 p.m.): It appears the Lightning are taking umbrage with Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews’ hit on Nikita Kucherov near the end of the third period.
Kucherov went directly to the locker room after the play and appeared to be in a considerable amount of pain.
Here’s what Lightning coach Jon Cooper had to say: ““It’s a contact game, but guys know what they’re doing.”
Kuch down the tunnel after this hit pic.twitter.com/ggBaGt0DCG
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) June 21, 2022
That’s a wrap (9:12): In a period that saw Tampa Bay clearly decide to take its foot off the gas, the Avs peppered goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with shot after shot and came up empty. Even a last-ditch pull-the-goalie effort was unable to produce a goal against the Russian goaltending wizard.
The Avs did at least get a chance to get some licks in, with Logan O’Connor throwing down the gloves and delivering a few haymakers late in the third period.
One other major development: Nikita Kucherov left the ice and went straight to the dressing room after getting sent into the boards by Devon Toews. — Matt Schubert
Avs put pressure on, get nothing in return (8:42 p.m.): The Avalanche has absolutely dominated the opening minutes of the third period, but the score remains 6-2. J.T. Compher, in particular, will be ruing his missed point-blank opportunity. — Matt Schubert
Second intermission analysis
Mike Chambers, Avs beat writer: Avs outshooting Tampa Bay 27-26 after two periods but the Lightning leads 6-2. Goaltending seems to be the big difference. Darcy Kuemper wasn’t great for the Avs. Steven Stamkos’ goal that gave the Bolts a 4-2 lead was a great shot but Kuemper seemed slow to react with his glove-side, where Stamkos shot. And Kuemper didn’t protect his right post enough on the fifth goal — Pat Maroon’s backhander in tight. The Lightning are creating much more offense, there’s no question, and Colorado needs to defend better. But the four-goal difference right now seems to be on Kuemper, who was barely tested in Game 2 (Tampa only had 16 shots).
Ryan O’Halloran, sports reporter: The Avalanche will leave the arena tonight with a series lead in this Cup Final, but questions at goalie after coach Jared Bednar saw enough of Darcy Kuemper and pulled him from the game after Tampa Bay took a 5-2 lead. Time to look ahead to Game 4.
Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: Rout on. Darcy Kuemper benched. Oh, my. Hold up on those victory parade plans, Denver. We got ourselves a series.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: The Curse of Sir Charles Lives! Once Charles Barkley went on television to heap praise up on the Avs and Cale Makar following the first period, Colorado was doomed. Welp, you had a feeling that they weren’t going to be able to protect Darcy Kuemper forever, and with five goals allowed — including some absolute softies — on 22 shots faced, enough was enough. Pavel Francouz is called from the bench to finish the stanza. The Avs look shaken, the Lightning are cooking and now coach Jared Bednar has a goalie debate on his hands for the rest of this stinking series, kids.
Second period highlights
Penalty kill finally breaks (8:01 p.m.): It was only a matter of time before the Avs surrendered a power play goal in the Stanley Cup Final. And it came with the Avs reeling.
Darcy Kuemper already pulled after five Tampa Bay goals, his replacement Pavel Francouz didn’t last long before giving up a score of his own. Colorado Public Enemy No. 1 Corey Perry got the tally, taking care of a loose puck after a shot from the point went through Francouz’s legs, hit the post and spun around in the crease. It’s the third straight goal from the Bolts, who appear ready to make this a series.
Lightning 6, Avalanche 2. — Matt Schubert
Power Play Perry: Activated 🚨 pic.twitter.com/U5yfeT9yMe
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 21, 2022
Dreadful night for Darcy (7:59 p.m.): The box score currently says Darcy Kuemper allowed five goals on 22 shots (.773) but I think the last one came after he was replaced by Pavel Francouz.
Either way, that’s not good enough. Better than Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 2 but far from good enough to backstop your team to victory. — Mike Chambers
Lightning are on one (7:51 p.m.): There goes Darcy Kuemper.
Pat Maroon, going for his fourth straight Stanley Cup, came out of the penalty box and promptly scored with a surge to the net and flick of the puck over Kuemper, 5-2 Lightning. It’s Maroon’s fourth goal of the playoffs.
And Jared Bednar has seen enough. Pavel Francouz has replaced Kuemp in goal. Good golly, how things have changed in the last 20 minutes. — Matt Schubert
A move made by Bednar with an eye toward Game 4? Has to be, right? Francouz has the last half of this game to prove he should be the guy in Game 4. — Ryan O’Halloran
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 21, 2022
Lamp might need new bulb (7:43 p.m.): The lamp lighting will not end at Amalie Arena. Within minutes of the Avs drawing within one goal, Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov worked the boards in the Avs zone and flicked a centering pass to Steven Stamkos, who spun around buried his shot at 7:52 of the second period. Lightning 4, Avalanche 2. Buckle up folks. — Matt Schubert
Great shot by Steven Stamkos as Tampa Bay regains two-goal lead, now 4-2. Stamkos shot went high glove side. But goalie Darcy Kuemper’s glove wasn’t raised until Stamkos’ shot hit twine. I see that as goalie error. — Mike Chambers
Stammer with the spin move 🌀 pic.twitter.com/FwyKl178oG
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 21, 2022
The Captain is heard from (7:35 p.m.): You do not want to put these Avs on the power play. After sustained Avs pressure resulted in a Lightning penalty, Colorado wasted little time taking care of the man advantage, with Gabe Landskog wristing a laser beam over the shoulder of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Lightning 3, Avalanche 2 going into the first TV timeout. — Matt Schubert
The Avs are now 2-for-2 on the power play in Game 3 and 5-of-9 in the series. Tonight’s PPGs each read the same: Landeskog from Makar and Rantanen. Landeskog’s second was a wrist shot from the left circle. First one was a stuff-in off a rebound from Rantanen. — Mike Chambers
Landeskog with his second score of the night pulls Colorado within one. Another goal against Vasy high-blocker. pic.twitter.com/1r93ZkdK71
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 21, 2022
Paul returns, and scores (7:29 p.m.): Roughly a half hour after going to the locker room early with an apparent leg injury, Nick Paul found the back of the net after a breakdown from the Avs in their defensive zone early in the second period.Josh Manson reversed the puck to the wrong player, with Paul one-timing the centering pass that followed. All the sudden, Tampa has all the momentum. Lightning 3, Avalanche 1 — Matt Schubert
Nick Paul’s goal that gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead early in the second period was a failed reverse by Avs defenseman Josh Manson. He had the puck and was skating around the net but reversed it to a D partner who wasn’t there. — Mike Chambers
What can’t he do?? pic.twitter.com/s6uMXsgG1V
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 21, 2022
First intermission analysis
Mike Chambers, Avs beat writer: Certainly NOT a bad first period for the Avs but they trail 2-1 after 20 minutes. They had a goal disallowed but outshot Bolts 14-12 and were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and scored on their only power play. They are now 4-of-8 on the PP in the series and a perfect 8-for-8 on the PK. That’s extraordinary special teams. If they keep that up they’ll survive some bad luck (Anthony Cirelli’s goal to tie it 1-1) and a beautiful play (Steven Stamkos to Ondrej Palat for 2-1 lead). The Avs understand this 2-1 deficit — their first of the series — was not a result of poor play. They know they had a good period. Save for Palat’s goal — a tally great players are destined to make — they liked that period. — Mike Chambers
Ryan O’Halloran, sports reporter: Well, the Lightning had to take a lead in this series at some point, right? Tampa Bay turned a 1-0 deficit (Gabe Landeskog power play goal) into a 2-1 lead on a seeing-eye single (goal) by Anthony Cirelli and a top-shelf shot by Ondrej Palat. The Lightning were outshot by the Avs 14-12, and Colorado had some late-period surges of possession in the Tampa Bay zone that should be encouraging.
Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: Pain! Curses! And dadgum! This series was one inch from being over. If not for that desperate (but wise) challenge by Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. Oh, well.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: Mikko, Mikko, Mikko. The Lightning (and Tampa fans) are feeling frisky again after a (correct) replay review took an early Avs goal off the board and a Rantanen brain-camp late in the period let Ondrej Palat free for the goal that gave the hosts a 2-1 cushion. The last time Colorado trailed at the end of a period this postseason, Game 4 in Edmonton, they came out and outscored the opposition 4-2 to finish off regulation. Buckle up.
First period highlights
Paul heads to locker room (7:06 p.m.): Lightning forward Nick Paul appeared to be in bad shape after suffering a leg injury late in the first period. Paul headed to the Tampa Bay locker room before the period came to an end. — Matt Schubert
Champs respond (6:59 p.m.): For the first time, the Lightning have a lead in the Stanley Cup Final. And it came with less than five minutes to go in the first period.
The score came on a well-executed criss-cross between Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat in the Avs zone, with the latter finishing a beautiful cross-ice pass from the edge of the right circle.
For the first time in a long time, Colorado looked lost on defense, allowing Palat to get an unmolested look right in front of the crease. Lightning 2, Avalanche 1. — Matt Schubert
— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) June 21, 2022
All even (6:54 p.m.): After yet another successful penalty kill, the Lightning finally got on the board.
Getting the puck in transition, Anthony Cirelli was able to corral it with his skate and then slide it past Avs goaltender Darcy Kuemper. From all appearances, it appeared he was trying to slide the puck across the crease, but lost control of it and it went through Kuemper’s legs. All tied, 1-1. –– Matt Schubert
Special teams remain special (6:44 p.m.): One of the stories of this series: the domination of the Avs’ special teams units.On Monday night, it began with a penalty kill that was strong enough to elicit a Lightning penalty. Then, once the Avs went on the main advantage, they quickly scored when the puck deflected off Gabe Landeskog at the front of the net. Avs 1, Bolts 0 with 11 minutes left in the first period. — Matt Schubert
Gabe Landeskog’s power-play goal makes the Avs 4-for-8 with the man-advantage in the series. That’s 50% and a big recipe for success. — Mike Chambers
LANDESKOG PUTS THE AVS IN FRONT‼️
— ESPN (@espn) June 21, 2022
Big Val comes up big … almost (6:29 p.m.): Valeri Nichushkin appeared to have picked up right where he left off in Game 2, scoring his fourth goal of the Stanley Cup Final with a floater early in the first period of Game 3.
But as Lee Corso likes to say … “Not so fast my friend.”
The score came after Avs defenseman Bo Byram appeared to retain possession in the Lightning zone — barely — but Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper challenged the call. And after an absurdly long delay, it was ruled that Byram did not keep the puck in the zone.
And there goes Nichushkin’s floater over the shoulder of Andrei Vasilevsky. Still 0-0 five minutes into the game. —Matt Schubert & Ryan O’Halloran
Offside or nah? pic.twitter.com/4VKk8QcQp5
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 21, 2022
Lightning come out with energy (6:25 p.m.): Tampa Bay has the first three shots and the last two came on a barrage in front of Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was sharp. The Avs need to weather this story. It’s definitely an early storm. — Mike Chambers
Tonight’s lines (6:12 p.m.): Here’s what we’re looking at for Avs lines tonight…
Toews-MakarJ. Johnson-MansonE. Johnson-ByramKuemper
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) June 21, 2022
Warmup underway (5:45 p.m.) Darcy Kuemper leads the Avs out of the gate. It appears Nicolas Aube-Kubel is in for Andre Burakovsky, who flew here to Tampa today, after the morning skate at Amalie Arena. He sustained what is believed to be a hand/wrist injury in Game 2. He played under eight minutes. Burakovsky has been great lately — he’s streaky — but Nic Aube-Kubel has actually played more postseason games than him (13 to 12). That’s how deep this team is. — Mike Chambers
The scene at Amalie (5:10 p.m.). Taking a lap of the 300 level of Amalie Arena 90 minutes before puck drop provided the following observations: 1. Unless the loudest Lightning fans are still on the trolly to the arena or stuck in the suffocating Tampa-area traffic, there was very little buzz. Sure, fans had their Lightning jerseys on, but it’s like they know a 2-0 deficit to the Avalanche is much different than a 2-0 deficit to the New York Rangers. 2. Avalanche fan jersey rundown: Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog, Joe Sakic and Tyson Barrie. 3. Ran into two fans wearing North Dakota jerseys and its former “Fighting Sioux” logo (formerly the best sweater in hockey) by a father and son. The son drove down from Atlanta (seven hours) to meet his dad for their first-ever Cup Final game. — Ryan O’Hallloran
Turn on the AC (90 minutes to puck drop). Hot and humid here in the Land of Lightning. And storms a plenty. On my Uber to Amalie Arena the sky became dark and rain was coming (didn’t hear any lightning). Beautiful downtown, but it sounds like folks outside the area are running for cover. There’s a little less than 90 minutes before puck drop — before this place goes all Lightning. Good hockey town! — Mike Chambers
Dressed for success (5:10 p.m.): As always, the Avs come in their best threads for the big games. — Matt Schubert
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 20, 2022
Keep focus. 🔒 pic.twitter.com/VZThtbpRho
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 20, 2022
Ryan O’Halloran, sports writer: Avalanche 5, Lightning 3. Fool me once (Game 1), shame on you. Fool me twice (Game 2), shame on me. I think that’s how the saying goes. At any rate, I picked Tampa Bay to win Game 1 and thought for sure it would rebound and win Game 2. I’m done picking the Bolts. The Avalanche won’t score first, but it will score the last three goals to take a 3-0 series lead.
Mike Chambers, Avs beat writer: If Tampa Bay can shake off that complete dusting of a loss in Game 2 it will have a good chance to win tonight at home. The key will be special teams because Colorado is so good at even-strength. I think the Avs are destined to win the series — it’s their time — so I won’t predict the Bolts will win tonight. Avalanche 4-2 with an empty-netter.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: Avalanche 4, Lightning 3, OT. Buoyed by sheer desperation, professional pride and a frothing home crowd, Tampa Bay empties the tank like the defending Stanley Cup champions they are. And wind up just getting their souls crushed anyway.
Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: Avalanche 4, Lightning 2: Got broom? When this series is over, it will be revealed Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy played hurt (bruised ego).
Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri skating and shooting in Tampa ahead of Game 3
Injured Avalanche center Nazem Kadri practiced with skills coach Shawn Allard following the full-team morning skate ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday morning.
Kadri, who is recovering from a surgically repaired broken right thumb, was stick-handling and doing light shooting. He is not expected to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 but is ruled “day-to-day” by coach Jared Bednar.
Kadri broke his thumb in Game 3 against Edmonton in the Western Conference finals. — Mike Chambers
Read more from Mike Chambers here.
Why does Arkansas basketball coaching staff watch Avalanche games?
The Avalanche’s run to the Stanley Cup Final has brought all kinds of Denver-area coaches, executives and athletes to the arena, from Michael Malone and John Elway occupying first-row seats behind the goal to Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett revving up the crowd when shown on the videoboard.
The Avalanche also have fans on the Arkansas men’s basketball coaching staff.
Led by coach Eric Musselman, the staff has spent time during their offseason watching video of the Avalanche, which plays Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the Final on Monday night. — Ryan O’Halloran
Read more from Ryan O’Halloran here.
Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3: Must reads
Kiszla: Avs broadcaster Peter McNab kicks cancer’s keister down road to Stanley Cup
It’s an Avalanche of goosebumps, as Colorado roars through the NHL playoffs. But true confession: Know what has been more of an honor for Mark Kiszla than bearing witness to the puck-handling wizardry of Cale Makar?
Watching broadcaster Peter McNab kick cancer’s keister down the road to the Stanley Cup. — Mark Kiszla
Read more from Mark Kiszla here.
Lost amid seven-goal outburst: The Avalanche’s defensive clamp down of Tampa Bay
Understandably overshadowed Saturday night amid a seven-goal outburst of highlights in its Game 2 blowout of the Tampa Bay Lightning: Statistically, the Avalanche played its best defensive game of the season.
In taking a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final with a 7-0 win, the Avalanche allowed 16 shots on goal, its fewest in 98 games this regular season/playoffs.
The Lightning had one shot in the first 10 minutes. — Ryan O’Halloran
Read more from Ryan O’Halloran here.
Game 3 debate: Do Avs have shot at being one of greatest NHL champs of last 35 years?
With a 14-2 record in playoffs, do the Colorado Avalanche have shot at being one of greatest NHL champs of last 35 years? It certainly appears to be a debate worth having. Read what The Post’s sports staff have to say about it.
More Stanley Cup Final coverage
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/06/21/avalanche-lightning-updates-highlights-stanley-cup-finals-game-3/ Tampa Bay Lightning hand Colorado Avalanche 6-2 loss behind second-period outburst