We have a series, folks! With their backs against the wall, the Lightning exploded for 6 goals on their way to a 6-2 win in Game 3.
The Lightning, who are known for their offensive prowess, completely flipped the script on the Avalanche. Colorado just didn’t look comfortable after their potential first goal was waived off following a lengthy review.
With the Avs’ momentum gone, the Lightning took full advantage, scoring 3 straight goals twice in the game.
As we flip to Game 4, the Lightning remain slight favorites. Tampa was finally able to play its style of game Monday night. Despite losing the speed advantage, the Lightning should feel confident they can find advantages in other areas.
On their home ice, the Lightning will need to keep taking advantage of their opportunities if they want to avoid facing elimination on the road in Game 5.
The Avalanche have been great all postseason thanks to their offensive firepower and the ability to pile on when they get the momentum.
However, we saw Monday night just what could happen when that momentum is yanked from them. Five minutes into the first period, the refs waived off their potential first goal after it was determined the Avs were offsides.
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Colorado still jumped out to a 1-0 lead later in the game. But, they were never able to keep the heat on — something we’ve come to expect.
Despite being highly talented, the Avalanche are relatively untested. It’s hard to downplay what a loss like this could do to their psyche; especially when adding a potential goalie controversy into the mix.
Fortunately for Colorado, they’ll have a quick turnaround before Game 4. Coach Jared Bednar must get his team regrouped quickly with a counter-game plan if the Avs want to steal a game in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Holding the Avalanche, the hottest team in hockey, to 2 goals is certainly impressive. Adding 6 goals of their own on top of that is not something I saw coming.
The Bolts have stayed alive in these playoffs, not by their firepower, but rather countering at opportune situations. This pile-on of goals was impressive and something they may need to do again if they want to complete this comeback.
The Lightning should feel incredibly confident going into Game 4. While we may not expect 6 goals every game, this defensive game plan is something they can carry.
By limiting the chances for the top Colorado players, the Avs will need to rely on their role players to carry them. If the Lightning can consistently neutralize the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, I like their chances of staying competitive in these games.