Nazem Kadri, playing in his first game in nearly three weeks, scored 12:02 into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Following a long shift in the Lightning zone, Kadri raced in on Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy & roofed a shot that got wedged in the top of the net. At first, the majority of the people in the arena didn't know where the puck went, but once Colorado realized it was in, their players filtered onto the ice & the fans at Amalie headed for the exits.
The Lightning wanted to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders and they certainly did that.
Anthony Cirelli found a rebound of an Alex Killorn shot and fired a shot by Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper just 36 seconds into the game, which sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy.
The initial shot knocked off Kuemper's mask, but since it occurred during a scoring chance, the whistle was not blown & the call on the ice stood.
Tampa Bay dominated the 1st period outshooting Colorado 17-4, but only had the one goal to show for it.
One of the big keys for the Bolts was to stay out of the penalty box, with the Avalanche power play as dynamic as any the Lightning have seen all year.
Well, the Colorado man-advantage struck again at 5:17 of the 2nd period, when a Mikko Rantanen centering feed went off the skate of Nathan MacKinnon and past Vasilevskiy to tie the score at one apiece.
In true Tampa Bay fashion, the Lightning didn't waver and re-took the lead at 10:42 on a display of pure skill & determination.
Victor Hedman took the puck from his own end and weaved his way all the way into the Avalanche zone before whipping a backhanded shot towards the net that beat Kuemper to the blocker side to put the Bolts up 2-1.
The Lightning took the lead into the second intermission but the Avs were able to tie things up at 2:53 of the 3rd when Nico Sturm found a rebound out in front & chipped one over Vasilevskiy to tie the game at two.
Tampa Bay had two power play opportunities in this game but failed to score on them both.
Kuemper had a strong game after giving up the early goal, stopping 37 of the 39 shots fired his way.
Vasilevskiy played well too, making 34 saves on the evening for Tampa Bay.
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Killorn, Cernak) - 0:36
- Colorado - PPG - MacKinnon - (Rantanen) - 5:17
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Rutta) - 10:42
- Colorado - Strum - (Helm, Byram) - 2:53
- Colorado - Kadri - (Lehkonen, Kuemper) - 12:02
- Colorado - Helm - (Interference) - 16:57
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Interference) - 3:57
- Colorado - Byram - (Hooking) - 6:12
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Hooking) - 11:48
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Friday night as they travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche for Game 5 of this Stanley Cup Final matchup. Puck drop is slated for 8:00pm with the pregame show starting at 7:00pm on NewsRadio WFLA & Lightning Power Play on the iHeartRadio app.