Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup!

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The Tampa Bay Lightning headed into Game 6 with the knowledge that only seven teams have rebounded from a 3-1 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final to even the series and only one team, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Stanley Cup (the Leafs were actually down 3-0 before winning four in a row).

Both teams had injuries to deal with heading into Game 6 with Colorado missing Andre Burakovsky for the match while Tampa Bay was without Brayden Point. The Lightning were 8-2 at home heading into their final home game of the season while Colorado was 8-1 on the road in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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COLORADO 2 TAMPA BAY 1 (Colorado wins the Stanley Cup 4-2)

The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, ending the Lightning’s dream of winning three straight Stanley Cups.

Cale Makar was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, and deservedly so, as he ended the playoffs with 29 points, third-best in scoring and the top point-getter of all Stanley Cup Final participants. Makar was the unanimous winner, corralling all 18 votes.

The first period was without many whistles as the action was non-stop. The only goal of the opening frame came at the 3:48 mark of the period when the captain, Steven Stamkos took charge and beat Darcy Kuemper. Cale Makar’s attempted clearing pass from behind the net, hit the skate of Ondrej Palat and the puck went right to Stamkos who potted his 11th of the post-season.

While no pucks entered the net the remainder of the period, both goalies played quite well with Andrei Vasilevskiy making a couple of outstanding saves while Kuemper was solid in the Colorado cage.

The shots on net after the first period were 10-8 in favor of Tampa Bay.

It was all Colorado in the second period, at least on the scoreboard as they scored a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead after two.

Nathan MacKinnon, who was held to just one goal in the first five games, took over as he scored his 13th of the playoffs at the 1:54 mark. MacKinnon took a pass from Bowen Byram and his one-timer from the faceoff circle easily beat Vasilevskiy.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on a controversial goal as Josh Manson seemed to hook Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the Colorado zone. The Avs then broke out with MacKinnon losing the puck but have it going to Artturi Lehkonen in the face-off circle and his shot beat Vasilevskiy. There could have easily been a penalty called on the play but there was not and the goal was allowed to stand.

The Avalanche outshot Tampa Bay 13-9 in the second period for a 21-19 lead after two.

Surprisingly, the Avalanche carried the play in the third period, outshooting the Lightning 9-4 and did not allow a Tampa Bay shot for over 15 minutes from late in the second period into the third.

Kuemper quietened his detractors as he was solid in the Colorado net, stopping 22-of-23 shots for his 10th win against four losses. He had a 2.57 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

Vasilevskiy ends the 2022 post-season with a 14-9 record with a 2.52 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

MacKinnon had seven shots on goal.

Bowen Byram had eight hits.

There were only two minor penalties called all game as the referees let them play.

The curse of Corey Perry prevailed over the winning ways of Pat Maroon as Perry has now gone to three straight Stanley Cup Finals without winning while for Maroon, it was his first Stanley Cup series loss after 15 straight wins as he won in St. Louis in 2019 and Tampa Bay the last two seasons before losing this year.

Congratulations once again to the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche!

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NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Steven Stamkos – 1

Nathan MacKinnon – 1

Artturi Lehkonen - 1

Assists

Ondrej Palat – 1

Bowen Byram – 1

Gabriel Landeskog – 1

Nathan MacKinnon – 1

Josh Manson - 1

Shots on Goal

Nathan MacKinnon - 7

Hits

Bowen Byram – 8

Erik Cernak - 5

Penalty Minutes

Ryan McDonagh – 2

Cale Makar - 2