The Stanley Cup Final may be one for the books.
Colorado dominated the first half of the game. In the second, the bay took over. It was only fitting for the game to go to overtime after the teams were tied at 3 by the third.
It was almost disappointing to see the evening end when Burakovsky scored. It could have gone on for a long time.
In the first period, Vasilevskiy gave up three goals on 15 shots, but he rebounded to play like the Vezina Trophy winner the Lightning have relied on. He will have a better performance in the second game.
Colorado's resilience kept shining through. The ups and downs of the playoffs have not rattled the Colorado team. A two-goal lead might have been too much for a lesser team. It's not Colorado. Staying true to yourself is what has made it so successful in these playoffs. There wasn't a lot of fear. Again, the depth came through.
When these two face off again, what will happen? It's time for more of the same. There's a lot more.
Losing a game is not a big deal for the Lightning. It is commonplace in their journey towards a three-peat.
The Lightning have lost the first game in each of the last 11 playoffs. The first two games of the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs series were both 11-2 losses for the Bolts. They've won the series three times.
Alex Killorn thinks that there aren't many situations that the group hasn't been in. It feels like we have seen everything. We don't worry. Going forward, we're positive. There is more work to be done.
After the loss to the Avs, the message was clear from the Lightning and their coach. They didn't establish themselves in the first period, allowing Colorado to take a 2-0 lead.
Perhaps we were just trying to get to know them. It has to be in the other direction. The tone needs to be set by us. They were going to have a great start. Killorn said that they were not as prepared as they would like to be.
Jon Cooper tried to tell the story.
You don't feel good about losing Game 1 At the start of the game, we probably dipped our toes in the water. The coach said that there were stretches of the game where he liked what they were doing.
This needs to be cleaned up. The right team won the game despite some positive signs. Give them credit for getting it out.
The Lightning felt like they did after the other Game 1 efforts, that their opponent hadn't seen their best because it was still to come.
We have better things in us. We had a chance to pull it out, but I don't think we gave them our best game. Cooper said that they have a better game in them.
They need one. Losing the first game of a series is not ideal. The Stanley Cup Final moved to a best-of-seven format in 1939 and the teams that win the first game have gone on to win it all. If the Bolts were to go down 2-0 to the Avs, it would mean they've lost two games in a row and are out of the playoffs. The Chicago Black Hawks were the last team to trail 2-0 in the playoffs. None of the teams that won the Stanley Cup have done it.
Colorado had off between the Western Conference finals and the Cup Final. It wasn't much of a deal.
The team showed no signs of rust after a long time away. The game's first few shifts were sloppy on both sides, but looking a little nervous to start the most important game of your season is not surprising.
Colorado didn't feel any effect of not playing for more than a week.
Early in the first period, the Avalanche used a momentum-changing penalty kill. Gabriel Landeskog made it a goal after Josh Manson left the box. The Cup Final's first goal was scored by the captain who thought the team might never achieve this type of success.
Valeri Nichushkin had the Avs up 2-0.
The first quarter was over. It wasn't Colorado that looked sleepy at that time. The Avs were up by three by that point.
The Colorado team got away from its game in the second period when it was tied at 3. They had fresh legs and made the right moves in overtime to win the game.
Colorado's depth has been a defining factor in this year's playoffs. The depth of the Colorado team has rarely had to rely on their stars to produce, and that will continue to push the buttons of the Bolts.
This was the worst start that Vasilevskiy has ever had. It was the first time the goalie had given up three goals. While the 5-on-3 goal by Artturi Lehkonen that made it 3-1 was gift-wrapped by his teammates' penalties, the first two goals he surrendered where uncharacteristically stoppable: a puck trickled through his pads that Landeskog tapped in and the first five-
It says everything about Vasilevskiy's value to the Lightning that the comments after the game were exonerating.
I thought he was ready to go. The first one was hard for him. Maybe the second one as well. Cooper thought he was the best player.
Vasilevskiy made 34 saves on the night and his teammates were proud of him.
It's expected. He is one of the best in the world. He is always going to do well in those situations.
Vasilevskiy's Game 1 hiccup will not be repeated. In the first game of his four playoff series, Vasilevskiy has a 3.99 goals- against average and a.884 save percentage. Is there any games in those series left? Vasilevskiy has a 1.90 goals against average and a.939 saves percentage.
Vasy is a difference maker. The greatest goalie in the world. Our best player is him. He can win games for himself. Sergachev said that he almost did it.
While Colorado hadn't played in a while, Kuemper had been missing for a long time.
The last time the Avs' goalie was on the ice was more than two weeks ago, when he was injured in the first game of the Western Conference finals.
Kuemper was back in the starter's crease for the first game of the Cup Final.
Kuemper battled through injuries in the first round of the playoffs and the conference finals. He started out with a few good saves on Colorado's penalty kill, but was beaten by Nick Paul after walking around and alone on Kuemper.
Kuemper couldn't keep up with the offensive attack in the second. He made a great save on Nikita Kucherov early in the game, but he couldn't stop Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev from tying the game.
It was necessary for Kuemper to be good in the third to allow Colorado to win. The veteran finished with a.870 save percentage. The way Kuemper stood tall in the third gave Colorado confidence. When the series inevitably gets tighter and more heated, Kuemper should be motivated to step up further in Game 2 because he knows Francouz is ready to take over.
The game-winning goal by Andre Burakovsky in overtime was the difference in the Stanley Cup Final as the Colorado Avs defeated the Detroit Red Wings.
Point was aware of what he was about to get into. He acknowledged before the game that adapting to the speed and flow of the playoffs might take some time.
Point played 17:59 in the first game of the series. He picked up a secondary assist on Paul's first-period goal. The first unit had power-play time.
There are two teams in the Stanley Cup final. All seven games can be watched on ABC, Disney+, and the app.
The first game was a 4-3 overtime win by the Avs.
Game 2: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (@ COL)
Game 3: Monday, 8 p.m. ET (@ TB)
Game 4: June 22, 8 p.m. ET (@ TB)
Game 5*: June 24, 8 p.m. ET (@ COL)
Game 6*: June 26, 8 p.m. ET (@ TB)
Game 7*: June 28, 8 p.m. ET (@ COL)
It's possible that it's necessary.
There were times when he looked like himself, like when he almost got stuck on a zone entry. He wasn't able to register a shot attempt in the game. Point's scheduled media appearance was canceled as he was receiving treatment, so the postgame press conference was a reminder that Point is still working his way back.
The lightning were both impressed and inspired by his performance.
He's a tough guy. He'll gut it out. It's great for him to come back and for us to see him again. Steven Stamkos thought he played well.
It's huge for our team when he's in our lineup. He can take over a game with the way he skates.
It was an important return for Jon Cooper and his team.
Point makes our team better. Was he injured before his injury? He played his first game in over a month and we played the fastest team in the league. It's difficult to get into, but I thought he did well.
Colorado's penalty kill was outstanding in the first game of the series, which is a positive thing. There is a compelling storyline for the rest of the cup final.
Point, one of the most dangerous players on the team, was back on the power play on Wednesday. Colorado can be given fits by point alone.
The penalty kill did a good job. It was aggressive in trying to get the shots. Players made key shot blocks, including a huge block by Jack Johnson on the first power play, and got the necessary clears even as the Lightning battled to keep the pucks in the zone.
Colorado did not allow a single shot on the first two tries. The third kill was the biggest of them all. Every right decision was made to kill off the minor infraction. Colorado's kill was the perfect balance between doing too much and not enough.
Special teams matter a lot in the first place. Both Colorado andTampa Bay are equally matched. Either side could have an advantage on the power play. The margin for error is thin all over the ice, and what we will see in the games to come is how one facet can ultimately make a difference in the outcome.