What championship qualities did the Lightning exhibit in Game 5? (0:50)

Dominic Moore was impressed by what the Lightning did in their Game 5 win. It was0:50.

9:35 AM ET

The Stanley Cup Final will last at least six games this year after the Colorado Avs were eliminated in the fifth game.

There is a Game 6 on Sunday in Florida. What are the keys to victory for the two sides? How confident are they in their ability to stop the shot? Which one will win?

The schedule for the Stanley Cup final.

Path to victory for the Avs

Colorado clearly knows how to play fast, create rush opportunities and be attentive to the details of the breakouts to win the game. The Lightning are able to push back and take advantage of it. The neutral zone was dominated by the Colorado team. It hasn't been that way recently. Colorado used to be able to start fast. The Avs have looked their best in the third period and overtime in the games since that crushing win in the second game of the series.

Colorado needs to get back on the attack if it wants to win the Stanley Cup. There is no reason to be afraid to make mistakes at this point in the series.

If it weren't for closing out the Lightning, they wouldn't be in the playoffs. The bay has lost in three of the four series it has played. Colorado needs to show more desperation in order to shut down a group that thrives in clutch situations. The tools and talent needed to finish off the bay are within the reach of the avalanche. The killer instinct that was at the center of their early series performances is what they have to channel in Game 6. Colorado went 7-1 on the road in the playoffs.

After Game 5, Bednar said that the Avs have been good because they just continue to play their game. Guys have been working on the road. Through the regular season, we have seen it. It has stepped up into the playoffs. The guys are hungry and ready to play. It takes 60 minutes to do this. I thought the game we won in overtime in the fourth game was the turning point.


Kevin Weekes talks about the inability of the Avs to close out the game at home.

Path to victory for Lightning

According to Greg Wyshynski, the Lightning believe in their recipe for victory. In the first two games their ingredients were spoiled by terrible starts, multi goal deficits in the first 10 minutes that were partially caused by penalties. They were leading after the first period in all three games.

What can happen can be seen. This was a close game and Game 4 went into overtime. Steven Stamkos said that the team wants to play that way. They have a good skill set. Try to eliminate their skill as much as possible if we can stay disciplined. We're built to play games that are tight like that.

The Lightning play in close games. They rely on goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, like the 35-save performance they received in Game 5, and on great team defense that kept Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog without a goal.

They can't win those games if they don't have enough scoring. Defenseman Jan Rutta is an unlikely source of that sometimes. It often comes from players such as Ondrej Palat, who has 11 goals in the playoffs and is in the running for the title.

Jon Cooper doesn't know what to say about the guys. Cup is in the building. The home team is very supportive. How do you demonstrate your skills? We did everything that was asked of us. You score on the power play and kill off penalties. You get it when you need the big goal.

Goalie confidence check

On the confidence scale, I would place Kuemper at a 7.5.

Bednar didn't give Kuemper a ringing endorsement in calling his Game 5 performance "OK," but then Kuemper did cede an easily stoppable playoff goal to Rutta, so maybe Bednar wasn't far off.

Kuemper has had ups and downs. Colorado has been exceptional in front of him so that wasn't much of an issue. Vasilevskiy doesn't have a regular net goal. Vasilevskiy has gotten the better of Kuemper now that there is more attention on him.

In Colorado's Game 4 victory, Kuemper was sensational, but he did allow a backhand goal. That is where he needs to be in the sixth game. Kuemper will give up a goal. It would be easy. I believe Kuemper can beat the Lightning. He doesn't let Bednar disrupt him mentally ahead of a crucial game.


The Bolts scored their first goal of the playoffs when Jan Rutta snuck the puck by Kuemper.

Wyshynski says that he has about a nine out of 10 faith in Vasilevskiy.

I don't think he has the same aura that he had in the past. He still makes some great saves that allow the Avs to get back in the game. He had only 0.28 goals saved in the fifth game.

The Lightning have an 11 out of 10 faith in Vasilevskiy.

He has played more hockey in the last three years than any other player. Pat Maroon said that the man had it. Every night, he finds a way. It's amazing. He's played 50-plus games in the regular season and three playoffs. He plays for an hour and a half. He's the person.

What we're watching for in Game 6

Shilton asked about Nathan MacKinnon's finish.

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: Avalanche 7, Lightning 0

Game 3: Lightning 6, Avalanche 2

Game 4: Avalanche 3, Lightning 2 (OT)

Game 5: Lightning 3, Avalanche 2

Game 6: Sunday, 8 p.m. ET (@ TB)

Game 7*: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET (@ COL)