By FRED GOODALL
TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored four goals in the second half and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 in Game 3 on June 20 at the Stanley -Cup final.
Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry also scored to help two-time defending champions Lightning bounce back after playing poorly and losing their opening two games away. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots.
Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored in the second half as the Lightning Colorados pursued goaltender Darcy Kuemper while pulling away to cut their streak deficit to 2-1.
Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche. Kuemper gave up five goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Pavel Francouz, who finished with nine saves.
Game 4 is Wednesday night at the Amalie Arena, where the Lightning won a franchise-record eight straight playoff games and lost Colorado for the first time this postseason away from home.
Two nights after being limited to just 16 shots in a 7-0 loss in Denver, the Lightning bounced back by finally finding a way to neutralize Colorado’s speed and untie Kuemper to avoid near elimination fall.
The Avalanche lifted their goaltender when Maroon scored a soft goal that gave the Lightning a 5-2 lead, staying 8:45 in the second. Perry reached behind Francouz for a rebound that came off the right post to make it 6-2 with 5:02 left in the period.
The two-time champions overcame a 2-0 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals to eliminate the New York Rangers in six games. They want to do it again against Colorado to complete their quest for the NHL’s first three-peat in nearly 40 years.