Avalanche claim OT win in Game 1 of Cup Final

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The Tampa Bay Lightning got a boost going into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with the return of Brayden Point to the lineup. He missed 10 games because of a lower-body injury. Point earned one assist and logged nearly 18 minutes of ice time during his first game in about a month.

The Colorado Avalanche also got a lift with the return of Darcy Kuemper to the crease after he missed the final three games of the Western Conference Final because of an upper-body injury. Kuemper stopped 20 of 23 shots in Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime victory.

Unfortunately, Colorado was without the services of forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano, who are both sidelined by hand injuries. They have been skating, but haven’t been using sticks yet. Kadri and Cogliano hope to be able to play at some point in the Cup Final, but it’s likely to be later in the series.

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TAMPA BAY 3 COLORADO 4 (OT) - Avalanche leads the series 1-0

Andre Burakovsky netted the game-winning goal just 1:23 into overtime to draw first blood for Colorado in the Stanley Cup Final.

Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring just 7:47 into the contest with his ninth goal of the playoffs. He also added an assist.

Valeri Nichushkin put the Avalanche up 2-0 shortly later with his third goal in his past three games. He also set up Burakovsky’s game winner and had a game-high six shots on goal.

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Nick Paul got the Lightning on the board at the 12:26 mark of the first period.

Artturi Lehkonen gave Colorado a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission with a 5-on-3 power-play goal.

Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev lit the lamp for Tampa Bay 48 during a 48-second span to tie the game at 3-3. Palat has a five-game point streak, while Sergachev has a three-game point spree.

Mikko Rantanen had two assists, two shots, two hits and one block on Wednesday night. He is currently riding a five-game point streak.

Brayden Point, Brandon Hagel, Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov, Ryan McDonagh, Victor Hedman, Nathan MacKinnon, J.T. Compher and Bowen Byram supplied one assist apiece.

Darren Helm racked up a game-high 10 hits. Erik Johnson and Sergachev were credited with six hits each.

Erik Cernak led all skaters in the match with five blocks. McDonagh and Sergachev had four blocks apiece.

Darcy Kuemper turned aside 20 shots in the win.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was much busier, while making 34 saves in the loss.