DENVER, Colorado — The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a miserable defeat Saturday evening in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, falling 7-0 in a shutout loss against the Colorado Avalanche.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy surrendered three goals during the first period in a second consecutive game. Allowing six goals in two first periods through two Stanley Cup Final games is the worst since George Hainesworth gave up seven in 1936, ESPN said in a tweet.
Beyond Vasy, the Lightning couldn't sink the puck in Colorado's net. The Lightning took 17 shots to the Avalanche's 30 and served 6 more minutes of penalty minutes throughout the game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning took a hard fall Saturday night, but now the team looks to dig themselves out of the hole come 8 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at Amalie Arena. The Lightning will have the home advantage and maybe the Bolts fans can help the team to victory.
Lightning 0 | Avalanche 7
9:49 Cale Makar scores, assisted by Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen
2:04 Cale Makar scores, assisted by Andrew Cogliano
16:26 Darren Helm scores, assisted by Logan O'Connor
4:51 Valeri Nichushkin scores, assisted by Devon Toews and J.T. Compher
13:52 Andre Burakovsky scores, assisted by Devon Toews and Mikko Rantanen
7:55 Josh Manson scores, assisted by Andrew Cogliano and Alex Newhook
2:54 Valeri Nichushkin scores on a Colorado power play, assisted by Andre Burakovsky and Alex Newhook
Original story: After falling to the Colorado Avalanche in a 4-3 overtime loss, the Tampa Bay Lightning trail a series after game one for the third time this postseason. However, Wednesday’s loss does not resemble the other game one defeats.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers blew out the Bolts in their series openers against Tampa Bay, winning 5-0 and 6-2, respectively. In the opening game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, the Avalanche held a 3-1 lead before a furious comeback by the defending champs tied the contest at 3-3 in the second period.
The effort shown in the second frame is what the Lightning believe can lead to a victory in game two.
“I don’t think by a country mile that we gave them our best game and we still had a chance to pull it out,” head coach Jon Cooper said after game one.
Losing the first game of the Stanley Cup Final is not always a bad sign. Tampa Bay lost three opening games in their four previous finals appearances.
Additionally, the Bolts lost five series openers in their ongoing streak of 11 series victories.
If the defending champs are going to even this series, a solid 60-minute outing from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is necessary. In the final 40 minutes of regulation in game one, Vasy stopped all 22 of Colorado’s shots. His shoutout periods helped send the contest into overtime. An unfortunate bounce off defenseman Victor Hedman’s leg led to Colorado’s game-winning goal.
"His mental strength is out of this world," Hedman said. "Whether it’s bouncing back from tough games or losses, we're very confident when we have him back there. The record’s not a fluke, but we can’t rely on that either."
Cooper added after practice on Friday, "Once he’s got a feel for the team, and it's usually only taken him a game, he's been outstanding. Vasy just dials himself in."
Offensively, Ondrej Palat could be the one who leads the charge. The veteran forward recorded, at least, one point—including four goals—in the last five games. Palat is tied with Steven Stamkos for the team-high in postseason goals with nine.
Center Brayden Point could also be a major factor for a Tampa Bay win in game two. After five weeks, Point returned to the ice in game one and played nearly 18 minutes with 23 shifts. Over the last three seasons, no player in the NHL has scored more playoff goals than Point.
Game two is set for 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday at Ball Arena in Denver.