Avalanche vs. Lightning: What to watch for in Game 2 of 2022 Stanley Cup Final

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We needed overtime in Game 1 but what a series opener it was between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning. Andre Burakovsky gave the home side a 4-3 win and a 1-0 series lead Wednesday night. Now we wait to see if Jon Cooper’s charges can rebound and even the series up before it heads to Tampa Bay for Game 3.

Brayden Point returned for the Lightning, Darcy Kuemper was in net for the Avalanche, but Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano remained out for Colorado. Will we see any changes for Game 2?

Let’s take a look at what to watch for ahead of Game 2 tonight from Ball Arena in Denver.

What to watch for in Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final

• Resilient Lightning: Following their Game 1 loss, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said “the right team won.” He was correct. Tampa Bay looked out of sync vs. Colorado, much like they did in Games 1 and 2 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. But after facing a 2-0 series deficit and down 2-0 in Game 3, they managed to come back and win the series. That’s what champions can do.

“It’s not about winning Game 1,” said Cooper. “Yeah, would we like to win every single game? There’s no question. But we’ve also started out on the road for all four series. So the fact that we’ve won one of them is kind of a bonus on our side. But it’s about winning the series. Yeah, it sucks we lost Game 1, but let’s turn the page here and let’s see if we can get Game 2. It’s about the series.”

We know the stat: Tampa Bay has only lost consecutive playoff games once since they began their Stanley Cup run in 2020. They’re also 1-3 in Game 1s this postseason. Every time they’ve started series slow they’ve only gotten stronger. But this is an Avalanche team that is 13-2, and battling back here will not be easy.

[MORE: Stanley Cup won’t visit Russia, Belarus for player celebrations this summer]

• Cogliano possible, Kadri “better”: Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said on Friday that Nazem Kadri is improving but there is no update on when he could play again.

“He added a stick to it for the last couple of days,” Bednar said. “Getting better. But I don’t have an update on him besides that.”

Andrew Cogliano took part in full practice and the team and could return Saturday night.

Both players are recovering from hand surgeries.

“[Cogliano] felt good enough to join the group today,” Bednar said. “We’ll see what it brings tomorrow.”

[Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

Anthony Cirelli vs. Nathan MacKinnon: This is one of the individual matchups to watch in this series. A perennial Hart Trophy contender vs. a future Selke Trophy winner. In Game 1, MacKinnon was limited to two shots at even strength but his line as a whole had an expected goal share of 97.82% in a little over five minutes against Cirelli’s line.

MacKinnon also finished with one assist and nearly had a second after creating this chance for Gabriel Landeskog.

While Cirelli poses a challenge, as long as the Avalanche are playing at home Bednar will not shy away from putting who he wants out on the ice.

“I’m not going to interrupt the flow of our game to avoid something until I see that it’s not working,” he said. “If it’s working and our team is comfortable with it, then we’ll use it a little bit and not run away from it. If I want Nate on in certain situations and they put out Cirelli, I’m going to put Nate out.”

[MORE: Valeri Nichushkin making star turn during Stanley Cup playoffs]

• Deficits and leads: Down 1-0, the Lightning are looking to become the fourth team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the opening game of each of their four playoff series.

According to the NHL, only four teams out of 15 have dropped Game 1 of a best-of-seven Cup final in overtime and gone on to win the series.

Teams that have won Game 1 of the Cup Final in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win the title 62 of 82 times. Teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead in a best-of-seven Cup Final have won 47 of 52 times.


Game 1 – Avalanche 4, Lightning 3 (OT)
Game 2 – June 18: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – June 20: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – June 22: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – June 24: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 6 – June 26: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 7 – June 28: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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    Sharks goalie James Reimer declines to wear Pride jersey

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    San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn’t take part in pregame warmups, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

    Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

    “In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

    Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

    Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

    The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

    “As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

    The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

    “Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

    Panarin, Shesterkin lead Rangers to 6-0 rout of Penguins

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    NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers routed Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night for their second win over the Penguins in three days.

    Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba also scored for the surging Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and are 12-4-0 in their past 16 at Madison Square Garden.

    Shesterkin won his fifth straight and posted his second shutout this season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sprawling save five minutes into the third period to preserve the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other one this season was a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

    “When you put in hard and honest work, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. ”We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans loved it. We’re playing for them.”

    The Penguins lost their third straight and trail the Rangers by 12 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, still in wild-card position, is trying to reach the playoffs for the 17th straight time.

    “Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”At this time of year, you have to have a short memory. We still have control of our destiny.”

    Patrick Kane and defenseman K’Andre Miller also had two assists apiece as New York improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils, who lost at Florida on Saturday.

    “This was a big game for our goalie and our team,” Panarin said. “If you work at playing the right way, you have opportunities for goals.”

    Since Dec. 5, when they turned around their season with a 6-4 comeback win at home over St. Louis, the Rangers are 29-9-5.

    As he did on Thursday when the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He got his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.

    Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle off a pass from Adam Fox.

    Tarasenko increased the lead at 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 9. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with the Rangers.

    Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal, which moved the Rangers forward within two of Vic Hadfield for fifth place on the franchise list.

    New York won Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and added an empty-netter.

    After Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry in net following Kreider’s goal, Trouba beat the replacement with a sharp-angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to increase the margin to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.

    Panarin scored again at 16:38 of the second – his 22nd goal of the season – to make it 6-0, with assists to Kane and Filip Chytil.

    “We’re building chemistry, building every day and every game,” Kane said.

    Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads the Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.

    “It’s nice to see that many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were played alongside Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We’re happy tonight.”

    Zibanejad assisted on goals by Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – over his last 20 games.

    “It was just one of those nights when the puck goes in for us,” Zibanejad said. “And obviously Igor gives us a boost making all those saves.”

    NOTES: The Penguins were missing defenseman Jeff Petry after he was hit with an unpenalized elbow from Rangers forward Tyler Motte on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defenseman Mark Friedman for the first time since Feb. 11. … The Rangers were without injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 10th straight game.


    Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

    Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

    Coyotes sign Shane Doan’s son to entry-level contract

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    TEMPE, Ariz. — Josh Doan is following his father’s footsteps into professional hockey.

    The Arizona Coyotes signed the 21-year-old forward to a three-year entry-level contract, beginning with the 2023-24 NHL season. He will report to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL and play his first game against the Calgary Wranglers.

    Doan’s father, Shane, played 21 seasons with the franchise, many of those as captain, and followed it from Winnipeg to the desert in 1996. Shane Doan now serves as Arizona’s chief hockey development officer.

    The Coyotes drafted Josh Doan in the second round of the 2021, but he opted to play for the hometown Arizona State Sun Devils.

    Josh Doan set school records for goals (12) and assists (25) as a freshman last season. He had 16 goals and 22 assists in 39 games with Arizona State this season.

    The 6-foot-1, 183-pounder also played two seasons for the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

    Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman has shoulder surgery

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    CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks forward Cole Guttman had surgery on his right shoulder.

    The team said the operation was performed in Los Angeles. Team physician Michael Terry said the 23-year-old Guttman is expected “to be out of hockey activities for approximately four months.”

    Guttman had been a pleasant surprise for rebuilding Chicago. He made his NHL debut last month and finished the season with four goals and two assists in 14 games.

    Guttman was selected by Tampa Bay in the 2017 draft. He agreed to a two-year contract with Chicago in August 2022 that had a $950,000 salary cap hit.