The Colorado Avalanche recovered from a 2-1 deficit in the third inning to score one win away from their third Stanley Cup in their history. Markaz Nazim Qadri scored the winning goal at 12:02 of extra time, and lifted the avalanche to a 3-2 win in the fourth match.
The finish was not without some controversy as the ball appeared to stumble across the top of the net after it crossed the goal line. Kadri received the ball from teammate Arturi Likonen, worked his way through the Tampa defense and beat goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky aloft.
This was Qadri’s first game since sustaining an injury in Game Three of the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers. My destiny was checked by Oilers striker Evander Kane and had to undergo thumb surgery.
Qadri became the ninth player in NHL history to score an extra goal in his first Stanley Cup Final appearance. The 31-year-old also became the first to achieve the feat in a game that wasn’t the first.
Wednesday’s game was the second time the Lightning had lost at home during the post-season 2022.
Before the extra frame, Vasilevsky initially saved, but Nico Storm’s shot went from Andrew Cogliano into the net. The goal was originally scored for Sturm, but was eventually changed to Cogliano.
Lightning opened the scoring for the first time in the Stanley Cup Final. Lightning center, Anthony Cirelli, clocked just 36 seconds into the fourth game after sending a rebound past Avalanche goalkeeper Darcy Quimper with a shot from teammate Eric Cernak.
At 5:17 in the second half, winger Mikko Rantanen put the puck into the net after receiving it from Nathan McKinnon. Vasilevskiy made the initial save for Rantanen’s shot, but the rebound went off MacKinnon’s sled and crossed the goal line. It was McKinnon’s first goal in the Stanley Cup Final.
Just over five minutes later, lightning defender Victor Hedman gave his side a 2-1 lead. Hedman hoisted a backball over goalkeeper Darcy Comber’s podium. It was Hedman’s first backhand score all season.
Avalanche will now have a chance to shut down the series at home in Game 5, which takes place on Friday. Colorado is looking to win its first Stanley Cup since 2001.
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