The three stars of Tampa Bay’s 6-2 win over Colorado in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals Monday night at the Amalie Arena:
Steven Stamkos, C, Lightning: Stamko’s 10th postseason goal was the most galling for the Avalanche defense as the former No. 1 overall winner found himself all alone in front of the Colorado net midway through the second third to score a goal that handed the hosts a 4-2 lead. No. 91 seemed to be all over the place, winning 18 of his first 26 faceoffs and collecting two hits in the first two and a half periods of the game. Goal #4 seemed to upset Avs first-choice goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper, who was pulled out a short time later.
Gabe Landeskog, RW, Avalanche: In what was an unforgettable night for Avs fans, the captain came out firing. His two power play goals gave the visitors hope while the game was still within reach and his 10 faceoff wins in the first 45 minutes of the game showed the kind of guts it takes in a cup final away from home.
Ondrej Palat, LW, Blitz: Want to keep the flash out of a streak? Stop 31-year-old Palat from playing a big role. Tampa Bay is now 7-3 in the 10 cup games in which the Czech winger has scored this spring, and his 5-06 goal in the first period gave the Bolts a 2-1 lead, their first lead of the series .