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Vasilevskiy Shuts Out Avalanche in Stanley Cup Final Rematch

Photo: Alex Walworth, The Scrum Sports

When last the Colorado Avalanche visited Amalie Arena, they ended the evening by skating down the ice, proudly hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Lightning saw their dreams for a “3-peat” evaporate before their very eyes. This season, the Avalanche and the Bolts are both, once again, in position for playoff contention. Both currently sit third in their respective divisions. Also of note, both teams were coming off an overtime loss on Tuesday night. They both took one-goal leads into the third period but failed to hold on. They had to settle for a single “loser point” when their opponent scored in the extra frame. So, both teams looked to get back on track tonight in this Stanley Cup Final Rematch.

Let the Cup Final Rematch Begin!

Tonight’s game began with both teams looking hungry for the two points. The Lightning dominated the shot clock for much of the period but Colorado had some great chances of their own. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who’d been pummeled in his last start, made some great saves, including one on a point blank shot from JT Compher.

With just over 6 minutes remaining in the period, Colorado’s Bowen Byram went to the box for tripping Vladislav Namestnikov. Tampa’s Bay power play had really struggled Tuesday night against San Jose. They went 1 for 6 that game but could not capitalize when they really needed the offense as the game progressed. Tonight, the second power play unit got it done. Corey Perry scored a beauty with just about 20 seconds to go on the man advantage.

With 10 seconds left in the frame, Mikhail Sergachev took a penalty for hooking. The penalty kill was another area the Bolts wanted to improve upon as they’d given up 2 goals on San Jose’s 3 power plays last game. They killed off the first 10 seconds to take the 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

Special Teams Shine in Second

The Bolts started the second period by successfully completing their first penalty kill of the game. Just after the 5-minute mark, they took another penalty, as Ian Cole went to the box for hooking. The Avalanche power play looked lethal, controlling puck possession in the offensive zone. But they could not beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning clung to their one-goal lead.

Shortly after that penalty kill, Brandon Hagel took a pass from Anthony Cirelli and fired it home. Hagel’s 20th of the season was a beauty and he was not done yet!

Just past the halfway point, Colorado’s Bowen Byram was sent to the box for his second penalty of the game. This one for hooking Brayden Point. Point quickly made the Avalanche pay for the hook as he scored just 14 seconds in. Kucherov and Hagel got the assists. Colorado challenged the goal for a missed stoppage in play on a hand pass. After review, it was determined that there was no hand pass and the goal stood. Bolts were 2 for 2 on the power play and 2 for 2 on the penalty kill at that point.

As the period wound down, with under 2 minutes remaining, Hagel went to work again with Alex Killorn. Hagel stole the puck from Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen who fell down. He got the puck to Killorn who was well covered but managed to drop a pass back to an open Hagel. Hagel wristed it past Georgiev for his second of the period. And the Lightning went to the dressing room with a 4-0 lead.

Cup Final Rematch Ends With a Shutout

The Bolts felt comfortable going into the third with a 4-goal lead. Still, they did not want to take their foot off the gas. And one quesion loomed. Could Andrei Vasilevskiy get the shutout? He had not had a shutout since November of 2021- an 84 game stretch. And it would certainly be a much welcome bouce back from the beating he’d taken in Sunrise just 3 nights ago.

Things started off well for the Bolts in the third as Mikhail Sergachev scored at 5:44 to put the Bolts up 5-0.

Tonight was Vasilevskiy’s 38th start of the season. He had never gone that long into a season without a shutout. And as the clock ticked down, and the Amalie fans chanted, “Vasy… Vasy!”, the Lightning sealed the deal and closed out the game by a 5-0 final. It was Vasilevskiy’s 11th straight home victory. And the Bolts struck a powerful blow in the Stanley Cup Final rematch.

3 Stars

1- Brandon Hagel- 2 goals, 1 assist

2- (a very close second) Andrei Vasilevskiy- first shutout since November, 2021 (stopped all 30 shots)

3- Alex Killorn- 3 assists


Up Next

The Bolts leave the friendly confines of Amalie Arena for a 4-game road trip beginning with a game Saturday afternoon in Dallas for another Stanley Cup (this time 2020) rematch. Please note the 1pm start time.





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