The Colorado Avalanche are one win away.
Thanks to their 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, the Avalanche were able to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
The hero of the night was Nazem Kadri with his first career playoff overtime goal in his return to the lineup. It was an awkward moment as nobody was actually sure the puck went in the net. After receiving a pass at the blue line and flying into the zone, Kadri fired off a quick shot that snuck under the arm of Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and lodged under the bar in the top of the net.
— NHL (@NHL) June 23, 2022
There was a delayed reaction by everybody because nobody actually knew where the puck was. Eventually the puck was found and Colorado celebrated its second overtime win of the series and its third win overall.
That win also allowed the Avs to climb one game closer to not only ending the Lightning’s reign at the top of the league after back-to-back championships, but also win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in more than 20 years.
It was also a nice bounce back game for Colorado after getting blown out in Game 3 on Monday.
It certainly was not easy.
Tampa Bay jumped out to an early lead less than a minute into the game on an Anthony Cirelli goal.
Colorado answered with a power play goal to the the game in the second period.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) June 23, 2022
Colorado was able to tie the game early in the third period on an Andrew Cogliano goal to help send it overtime.
The big story here was Kadri.
After missing the past four games following thumb surgery there was some uncertainty as to whether or not he would be able to play again this postseason. But after inching his way closer over the past few days he was finally cleared to play. He was clearly not 100% as Gabriel Landeskog took the face-off when their line was on the ice, but he was able to make a massive impact.
Kadri has been one of Colorado’s best players this season and now has seven goals this postseason. None of them have been bigger this one.
Cooper unhappy with winner
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper only took one question afterward and hinted that a missed too many men call led to Kadri’s winner.
“I’ll speak with you tomorrow. You’re going to see what I mean when you see that goal,” Cooper said. “My heart breaks for the players because we probably still should be playing. I’ll be available tomorrow.”
“I'm gonna have to speak tomorrow… You’re gonna see what I mean when you see the winning goal. My heart breaks for the players because we probably should still be playing”
– An emotional Jon Cooper after only taking one question post-game. pic.twitter.com/1XHPHRwD5x
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 23, 2022
2022 NHL playoff schedule: Stanley Cup Final
COLORADO AVALANCHE v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (COL leads 3-1)
Game 1 – Avalanche 4, Lightning 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Avalanche 7, Lightning 0
Game 3 – Lightning 6, Avalanche 2
Game 4 – Avalanche 3, Lightning 2 (OT)
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)