How the Avalanche won Game 2

June 19, 2022 at 1:53 AM EDT

‘Close to perfect’

Less than two hours before puck drop Saturday, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper made his expectations clear. There wouldn’t be a repeat of the first 10 minutes of Game 1, which saw Colorado score twice before the first period was half over.

“I expect us to be way the heck better,” Cooper said.

One team was way the heck better than it was in Game 1, and not just in the first 10 minutes of the game. It just wasn’t the Lightning.

“It was certainly as close to perfect of a game as you can get from your players,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Peter Baugh·

Staff Writer, Avalanche

GO FURTHER

Avalanche reaches another level in rout of Lightning: ‘Close to perfect’

June 19, 2022 at 1:41 AM EDT

Stamkos: ‘Let’s see what we’re made of’

Steven Stamkos knows what many are thinking.

It’s over.

The Lightning are in trouble after a humbling and embarrassing 7-0 loss to the Avalanche in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. Colorado has outclassed the two-time defending champs in the first two games, looking faster, hungrier, more disciplined and dangerous.

But as Stamkos addressed the media in the bowels of Ball Arena, it felt like he wanted to deliver a message, if not to the hockey world, then definitely to the players in the Tampa Bay room.

Joe Smith

Joe Smith·

Staff Writer, Lightning

GO FURTHER

Steven Stamkos and Lightning won’t go quietly: ‘Let’s see what we’re made of’

June 18, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT

Jon Cooper on why he didn’t pull Vasilevskiy

Joe Smith

Joe Smith·

Staff Writer, Lightning

June 18, 2022 at 10:58 PM EDT

Only one other team marks a bigger Stanley Cup Final shutout shortage

Only the Penguins’ Cup clincher (8-0) over North Stars in 1991 marks a bigger Stanley Cup Final shutout deficit than what Avalanche did to Lightning in Game 2.

That Penguins team had six Hall of Famers, with Jaromir Jagr yet to come

Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi·

Senior Writer, Penguins

June 18, 2022 at 10:57 PM EDT

The Avs have scored 4+ goals in 12 of their 16 playoff games

By The Athletic Staff

By The Athletic Staff

June 18, 2022 at 10:56 PM EDT

The Colorado Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final

The Colorado Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, winning Game 2 7-0 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. With the series shifting to Tampa, the Avalanche have outscored the Lightning 11-3.

Valeri Nichushkin opened the scoring 2:54 into the game. He added another goal in the second period. Nichushkin has eight goals and five assists through 16 playoff games.

(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today)

By The Athletic Staff

By The Athletic Staff

June 18, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT

The Avalanche dominate the Lightning to take a 2-0 series lead

Peter Baugh

Peter Baugh·

Staff Writer, Avalanche

June 18, 2022 at 10:53 PM EDT

Can Tampa Bay recall Tom Brady for Game 3?

Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi·

Senior Writer, Penguins

June 18, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT

The Avalanche are two minutes away from a 2-0 lead in this series

The Avalanche are two minutes away from a 2-0 advantage, but I’m just going to state the obvious here and remind everyone that the Lightning have been here before. They overcame a 2-0 deficit in the Eastern Conference Final and won four straight to eliminate the Rangers. Granted, what we just saw was unequivocally the Lightning’s worst performance to date in these playoffs – but if anyone could somehow come back from that, it’s them.

Emma Lingan

Emma Lingan

June 18, 2022 at 10:40 PM EDT

The party in Denver extends way beyond the rink

By The Athletic Staff

By The Athletic Staff

June 18, 2022 at 10:37 PM EDT

Every coach in NHL should take a note of Colorado’s power-play

Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi·

Senior Writer, Penguins

June 18, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT

Avs up 7-0

Cale Makar scores again, this time on the power play after taking a cross heck from Palat. The score is 7-0 Avs.

And it looks like Vasilevskiy staying in.

Hailey Salvian

Hailey Salvian·

Staff Writer, Flames

June 18, 2022 at 10:34 PM EDT

QB1 approves

By The Athletic Staff

By The Athletic Staff

June 18, 2022 at 10:33 PM EDT

Cala Makar. Again.

Peter Baugh

Peter Baugh·

Staff Writer, Avalanche

June 18, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT

Here’s an update on Colorado’s deadline acquisitions

Peter Baugh

Peter Baugh·

Staff Writer, Avalanche

June 18, 2022 at 10:27 PM EDT

Tampa Bay can’t get their offense going

By The Athletic Staff

By The Athletic Staff

June 18, 2022 at 10:23 PM EDT

Cale Makar has his first point of the series

If Cale Makar is going to get involved, this series might be over already. Good gravy, what a performance by the Avalanche.

The Lightning body language will be notable over these final 17 minutes. That is a fiercely proud group, but champions also know when they don’t have what it takes.

And it looks as though Lightning doesn’t have what it will take against these Avalanche.

So, is it too early to begin wondering where the Avalanche run would rate among modern single-postseason efforts?

Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi·

Senior Writer, Penguins

June 18, 2022 at 10:21 PM EDT

Cale Makar makes it 6-0 Avs

Peter Baugh

Peter Baugh·

Staff Writer, Avalanche

June 18, 2022 at 10:18 PM EDT

The Avalanche exploit a built-in advantage

Cannot imagine, coming off three tough series in the East, what seeing this type of relentless speed while playing at high altitude is like for the Lightning.

That’s not offering an excuse for the Lightning.

But the facts are facts, and the Avalanche exploit a built-in advantage — that famous mile-high thin air — with a roster that attacks with speed and skill in waves. And with a defense corps adept at moving the puck quickly and accurately, the Avalanche forwards have possession so much. It’s tough to envision Lightning winning a game in Denver unless the goalie stands on his head. And he’s doing that despite giving up nine goals in six periods

Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi·

Senior Writer, Penguins

June 18, 2022 at 10:07 PM EDT

After five periods, Tampa is being outshot 61-35 and outscored 9-3

We are five periods and a short over time into this Stanley Cup Final and the Lightning have registered only 35 total shots on Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. For context, the Avs had 38 shots on goal in Game 1, alone.

Thus far, Tampa is being outshot 61-35 and outscored 9-3.

Hailey Salvian

Hailey Salvian·

Staff Writer, Flames