Avalanche Vs. Lightning Score Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Colorado Wins 2-1 For Team's Third Championship - Gatous News

Avalanche vs. Lightning score Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Colorado wins 2-1 for team’s third championship

The Colorado Avalanche are Stanley Cup champions. The Avalanche went into a fired up Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., for Game 6 and left with a 2-1 win — and a very large piece of hardware.

Colorado ended Tampa Bay’s run of back-to-back Stanley Cups and captured its third championship in franchise history.

The Lightning jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, thanks to a goal from captain Steven Stamkos. However, the Avalanche took over the game from there. Colorado dominated the second period and was rewarded with goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Artturi Lehkonen. The Avs took a 2-1 lead into the locker room and shut down the Lightning from there.

Colorado completely smothered Tampa Bay in the third period. The Lightning didn’t get a shot on Darcy Kuemper until there were roughly 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Not content to sit back and wait for the clock to tick down, the Avs remained aggressive in the final 20 minutes, and that made life incredibly difficult for the Lightning. Even in the empty-net situation, Tampa Bay failed to get quality shots on Darcy Kuemper.

After finishing at the bottom of the NHL standings just five years ago, the Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001, and they did it against one of the greatest teams of the salary cap era.

Avalanche Complete the Rebuild

In the 2016-17 season, the Avalanche went 22-56-4, the worst mark in the NHL. Just five years later, the team is skating the Stanley Cup around Amalie Arena after knocking off the Tampa Bay Lightning.

General Manager Joe Sakic had a plan for this Avalanche team, and he executed it to perfection. Ever since that awful year in 2016-17, Colorado has only ascended, and it began with the draft that summer. The Avs actually slid to the No. 4 overall selection in the draft lottery, but it worked out because the team drafted Cale Makar, who just won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason. That jump started Colorado’s rebuild, and the franchise didn’t look back from there. This Stanley Cup has been several years in the making for the Avalanche, and they probably aren’t even close to done.

Nathan MacKinnon Gets It Done

The first five games of this Stanley Cup Final had to be frustrating for MacKinnon. Coming into Game 6, he had just one goal on 28 shots, but he kept chipping away and was the biggest difference-maker for the Avalanche in their series-clinching win.

MacKinnon has been the heart and soul of the Avalanche throughout their rebuild, and he developed into a top five player in the league. Despite his poor luck in this Stanley Cup Final, MacKinnon kept his poise and refused to get frustrated. In Game 6, MacKinnon scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winning goal by Lehkonen. Considering how much MacKinnon has meant to the Avalanche, it was only fitting that he was the one who delivered in this game.

End of an Impressive Run in Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning fell just two wins short of winning three straight Stanley Cups, something that has only been done five times in NHL history. While this loss will sting, the Lightning still manages one of the most impressive runs of the salary cap era.

The Lightning won 11 straight playoff series, which is a monumental feat when you consider the restraints that the salary cap, free agency, expansion draft, and pandemic have placed on teams in recent years. Everyone from general manager Julien BriseBois to head coach Jon Cooper to the players deserve all the praises in the world for delivering so consistently in a three-year span. I doubt Tampa Bay is going anywhere soon, and it would probably be a mistake to think otherwise. The team is still loaded with talent, but we can still appreciate the greatness it’s shown in each of the last three postseasons.

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