Colorado beat two-time reigning champion Tampa Bay on away ice and need one more victory to win the Stanley Cup. Nazem Kadri’s goal in overtime gives Colorado the chance to secure the title at home.
Played by Artturi Lehkonen, Nazem Kadri managed to net in extra time when the Colorado Avalanche beat Tampa Bay Lightning on away ice with 3-2 and now leads the Stanley Cup final series with 3-1.
Colorado won its two opening home games in the series but lost the third battle in Tampa Bay. Colorado can now secure the title in the NHL ice hockey series at home when the teams meet in the sixth final match on midsummer night Finnish time.
The puck was in the goal
Tampa Bay goalkeeper Andrej Vasilevsky had already had some nice parades earlier in extra time, which was 12 minutes old.
It looked like another save as the puck did not appear after Kadri’s shot. When blown away, Colorado’s Bowem Byram then ran to the goal and found the puck on the inside of the goal roof – it had got stuck between the net and the goal’s rear upper frame.
A cheer could begin in the Colorado camp while despair and confusion took place on the Tampa Bay side.
– A huge victory for us. For a while I had time to believe that he took the puck, but soon I noticed that our team hurried to me. A nice feeling, Kadri said according to MTV.
Kadri now returned to action after an injury in the conference final against the Edmonton Oilers.
Two lead goals by Tampa
During regular season, Colorado leveled twice.
Tampa Bay took the lead already in the starting minute after a goal by Anthony Cirelli. Colorado goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper already had time to take a few opposing shots, until Cirelli managed to net from the rebound.
Colorado’s answer came five minutes into the second period through Nathan MacKinnon, assisted by Mikko Rantanen and Kale Makar. MacKinnon gave the puck to Rantanen in the middle circle, ran towards goal and got the puck back by Rantanen.
The match clock had ticked a little earlier halfway, when Tampa Bay again took the lead through the hill Victor Hedman’s shot from the right circle.
We started playing like we did in the second final.
– Mikko Rantanen, Colorado
At the start of the third period, Colorado’s Andrew Cogliano equalized to 2-2, the numbers that held up to extra time. The shot signed Nico Sturm changed direction from Cogliano’s foot.
Towards the end of the third period, the player collapsed in both teams in several sequences, but the referees chose not to whistle any expulsions.
– In the third period and extra time, we started playing as we did in the second final. Today we did not really get started in the first period, but fortunately we equalized in the second period. The equalizations gave us faith. We have not won anything yet, the work continues, Mikko Rantanen added Yle in the corridor to the dressing room.
Stanley Cup Final Series, Match 4
Tampa Bay Lightning – Colorado Avalanche 2-3 p.m.
Colorado leads by 3–1 in matches.
1st period: 00.36 Anthony Cirelli (Erik Cernak) 1–0.
2nd period: 25.17 Nathan MacKinnon (Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar) 1–1, 30.42 Victor Hedman (Jan Rutta) 2–1.
3rd period: 42.53 2–2 Andrew Cogliano (Nico Sturm, Darren Helm).
Extension: 72.02 Nazem Kadri (Artturi Lehkonen, Darcy Kuemper) 3–2 je.
Rescues: Andrej Vasilevskij TB 35, Darcy Kuemper COL 37.
Artturi Lehkonen COL 0 + 1, 0, 22.31
Mikko Rantanen COL 0 + 1, -1, 25.39
Article updated 23.6. at 8.29 with Nazem Kadri’s comment.