2022 Stanley Cup Final – Best moments, scenes and breakdown from Colorado Avalanche-Tampa Bay Lightning Game 4

The Tampa Bay Lightning looked like they were ready to take on the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals, but the Avs had other plans Wednesday.

Hosts Tampa Bay went 1-0 up less than a minute into the first period when Anthony Cirelli scored after another shot ripped off Darcy Kuemper’s helmet. However, the Avalanche rallied when Nathan MacKinnon broke a 32-goal streak with his first goal of the final in the second period. The Lightning wasted little time, however, as Victor Hedman created another one-goal lead for them five minutes later.

Colorado kept attacking and managed to equalize again in the third through a deflection from Andrew Cogliano. That led to a thrilling finish in extra time as Nazem Kadri finally broke through Andrei Vasilevskiy’s defense with a counterattack.

The Avalanche are now just one win away from a title, and that’s historically good news for them β€” every team that went 3-1 against a defending Stanley Cup champion ended up winning a championship of their own. Here are all the sights and sounds from game 4.

Final Thoughts on Game 4

Colorado again went for a quick finish in overtime.

Three of the 15 post-regulation periods in those playoffs ended in 90 seconds or less. Andre Burakovsky ended things for Colorado in a hurry with the 4-3 OT finish of Game 1.

Valeri Nichushkin came dangerously close again with his quick try at Andrei Vasilevskiy, but he couldn’t get enough air under the puck to beat Tampa Bay’s impressive defense.

Logan O’Connor had the next big scoring opportunity on a breakaway, but he couldn’t get a great shot at Vasilevskiy. The goalkeeper easily stopped his attempt.

Bowen Byram hit the bar. Devon Toews hit the post. Vasilevskiy stopped a slap shot from Josh Manson.

It was only right that Nazem Kadri finished it off with an overtime winner to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. – Kristen Shilton

Avs take game 4

Nazem Kadri is the hero in extra time and scored the winning goal after 12 minutes. It was Kadri’s first time since breaking his thumb on June 4. A very grateful fan? Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

Snack for the third hour

The referees apparently put down their whistles.

It happened in the third period when Colorado and Tampa Bay were looking for the winning goal.

However, players on both sides didn’t seem happy about it. There were appeals to officers for calls that could have caused a huge momentum shift.

No such decisions came back from the referees.

Regardless, it was a fitting conclusion to regulation. This was the most competitive game in the series. Tampa Bay looked dominant early on and the Avalanche was above them in the third. Both Darcy Kuemper and Andrei Vasilevskiy were fantastic.

It makes for a great finish in overtime. Who breaks first? – Kristen Shilton

Back and forth

This could end up being the closest game of this Stanley Cup final as the Avalanche equalize again with a goal from Nico Sturm.

Avalanche Takeaways from the second period

Nathan MacKinnon entered the chat.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Colorado’s Star Center had received a snakebite to start the Stanley Cup Finals after failing to score in their first three games. MacKinnon promised not to get frustrated (a trait of his during past break-ins) and keep shooting until he found an opening.

His power play goal wasn’t exactly pretty, nor did it require a real shot. But it leveled the score in Game 4 at 1-1.

It was MacKinnon who actually passed the puck to Mikko Rantanen and Rantanen sent it back to the net where the puck bounced off his skate and went past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

You don’t ask how. You ask how many.

No one needed a goal like MacKinnon, however. While Tampa Bay’s stars have been rising, it hurt Colorado to see its standout player with just two assists in three games.

A permanent problem? Colorado hasn’t had an equally strong target since the series moved to Tampa; All three have come with the extra man so far. Not good. – Kristen Shilton

Lightning fast food stalls from the second period

Last night was an odd night for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. It was the night before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and they wore suits to the NHL awards dinner, which was being held at a local brewery in Tampa. Hedman dressed up just to watch Makar win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. It was the sixth time Hedman had been nominated for the award. He’s only won it once.

So it was probably a matter of satisfaction for Hedman in the second half as he scored the kind of goal Norris trophies are made of: dangling through the neutral zone, then the Avalanche defense before throwing a shot at Darcy Kuempers Blocker side flew past to A 2-1 lead at 10:42 of the third. Was much of that goal Jack Johnson’s defense and a touch of Kuemper? Admittedly, that was it. But it was still a wonderful move and a monumental goal from Hedman. We’re reviewing the NHL bylaws to see if Makar now legally needs to relinquish the Norris to him.

The other great performance of the second period was goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy. He gave up a power-play goal on a puck that bounced off Nathan MacKinnon’s skate — the Avalanche’s sixth power-play goal of the series — but was otherwise a classic big cat with 15 saves during that period. When the lightning didn’t block them, it saved them.

However, the time did not end well for the Bolts. Anthony Cirelli, their main defensive center against the MacKinnon line, left the ice clutching his arm with just over a minute to go. Certainly something to keep an eye on for the third.
– Greg Wyshynski

Tampa Bay takes the lead again

Victor Hedman gave the Lightning their first goal of the second period and a 2-1 lead. It’s Hedman’s third goal of the postseason and his first since May 10.

All tied up

The Avalanche struck back a few minutes into the second half, with MacKinnon sending home a rebound after 32 attempts for his first goal of the series, the most of any player on either team.

Avalanche snack bars from the very beginning

Colorado couldn’t see that beginning coming.

It took Tampa Bay just 36 seconds to go 1-0 over the Avalanche in an incredibly random sequence.

The Lightning had good pressure early in the offensive zone when Erik Cernak fired a shot at Darcy Kuemper, who knocked off the keeper’s mask immediately. Kuemper then failed to stop Anthony Cirelli’s subsequent game that put Tampa Bay on the board.

Normally, when a goalkeeper’s mask comes off, the whistle is blown immediately, but in this case play was allowed to continue as there was a continuous scoring opportunity.

Before that, Kuemper faced a pretty tough Game 4. He got the starting nod after being pulled midway in Game 3 for allowing five goals on 22 shots. He didn’t need a weird goal to further sap his confidence. However, Kuemper recovered well (no pun intended) while the Avalanche floundered in front of him and was overshot 10-1 in the opening 13 minutes.

In fact, Kuemper was the only thing holding Colorado together for the first 20 minutes. This is a dangerous position for the Avalanche to empathize with. He made a great glove stop on Steven Stamkos and then was keen on Tampa Bay’s late power play chance.

The Avalanche ended the period 17-4.

whoops – Kristen Shilton

Lightning-fast takeaways for the first hour

The Lightning are 7-1 going into the playoffs after the first third, which is another way of saying this is a team that knows how to play with a lead. They blocked 13 shots in front of Vasilevskiy and converted a few more. They clogged the neutral zone and didn’t allow the Avalanche to build up their speed game. The Lightning earned some significant zone time on her forecheck, especially on her fourth line, which earned the only power play of the game.

Despite this powerplay opportunity and 17 shots on goal, the Lightning still only led 1-0 after the first game. There were a few missed chances and KΓΌmper was able to regain his footing after a shaky start. – Greg Wyshynski

Don’t waste time

It looks like the Lightning are through with their disastrous Game 2 as it took them less than a minute to score the first goal of the game. It was also a moment of shock for Kuemper when the goalkeeper got a stick on his neck, knocking off his helmet.

Smallest Biggest Fan

Butterfly Pavilion, a zoo in Westminster, Colorado, and its resident stag beetle wished the Avalanche good luck ahead of Game 4.

Watch the role, be the role

Both teams were all heading to the arena for Game 4.

Return of the ring(s).

Mascots deserve their championship rings just like everyone else, so it’s heartwarming to see the Flash Mascot regain two lost ones.

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