Saturday, June 25, 2022

Stanley Cup Finals: Kadri OT winner leads Avs to 3-1 lead via Lightning

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Fellow forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Andrew Cogliano also scored in Wednesday’s comeback win at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The Avalanche will host the Lightning in Game 5 on Friday in Denver.

June 23 (News) — Center Nazem Kadri scored a 12:02 in overtime to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a narrow win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. The Avalanche are one win away from the NHL title.

“The goal was certainly a team effort,” Kadri told reporters. “It feels good to have made it.”

Center Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning. Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper made a total of 37 saves. Star net minder Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 34 stops for the Lightning.

Cirelli drew first blood when he defeated Kuemper in just 36 seconds of play. Lightning carried that narrow edge into the second. MacKinnon then defeated Vasilevskiy for a crucial result from a powerplay 5:17 in the bridge phase.

About five minutes later, Hedman hit Kuemper a second time. The Flash stayed on top for the rest of the second. The fourth line of the Avalanche was responsible for the decisive score after 2:53 in the third.

Forward Darren Helm received the puck between the blue line and the right circle of the blitz to get that score. Then he tore a shot towards the net.

Center Nico Sturm deflected Vasilevskiy’s puck and got the rebound, but his next try deflected Cogliano and found the net.

The Lightning almost scored the go-ahead goal with about 11:30 left, but star winger Nikita Kucherov hit the bar with a rocket shot.

Kadri then played the hero 12:02 into the bonus period. Kümper took the puck in the Avalanche’s left circle and found winger Artturi Lehkonen on the blue line with a quick pass to start the game.

Lehkonen then turned and snapped his wrist to find Kadri with a pass as he ran between three defenders.

The star striker meandered to the right post and placed the puck on his backhand as he sent a wrist shot straight into Vasilevskiy’s right arm and into the top of the net.

“One is often part of heartbreaking losses and defeats,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “I was with a group that just fights and fights. They’ve fought their way to a third straight Stanley Cup Final. … To see that team and what they’ve been through and the struggles that have been going on. We’re all in this together. … This one will sting a lot more than others.”

The Avalanche will host the Lightning in Game 5 at 8:00 p.m. EDT at the Ball Arena on Friday. The game will be broadcast on ABC. Game 6 of the best-of-seven series takes place on Sunday when the Lightning win Game 5.

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