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

The Colorado Avalanche are Stanley Cup champions. The Avalanche walked into an Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. for Game 6 and came away with a 2-1 win — and a really big chunk of gear.

Colorado ended Tampa Bay’s back-to-back Stanley Cup streak and won its third championship in franchise history.

The Lightning quickly took a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from captain Steven Stamkos. However, the Avalanche took control of 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 locker room lead and stopped the Lightning from there.

Colorado completely smothered Tampa Bay in the third period. The Lightning failed to shoot Darcy Kuemper until about 10 minutes remained in regulation. Not content to sit and wait for time to pass, the Avs remained aggressive in the final 20 minutes, which made life incredibly difficult for the Lightning. Even in the empty-net situation, Tampa Bay failed to get any quality shots on Darcy Kuemper.

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

Avalanche Complete the rebuild

During the 2016-17 season, the Avalanche posted a record of 22-56-4, the worst mark in the NHL. Just five years later, the team skates the Stanley Cup around Amalie Arena after eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning.

General manager Joe Sakic had a plan for this Avalanche team and he executed it to perfection. Since that terrible year in 2016-17, Colorado has only gone up, and it started with the draft that summer. The Avs actually slid to the No. 4 selection overall in the draft, but it worked because the team drafted Cale Makar, who just won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player. . That jump started Colorado’s rebuild, and the franchise hasn’t looked back from there. This Stanley Cup took years to build for the Avalanche, and they’re probably not even close to being finished.

Nathan MacKinnon does it

The first five games of this Stanley Cup Final must have been frustrating for MacKinnon. Heading into Game 6, he scored just one goal on 28 shots, but he kept chipping away and was the biggest difference-maker for the Avalanche in their decisive series win.

MacKinnon was the heart and soul of the Avalanche throughout its rebuilding, and he became one of the league’s top five players. Despite his bad luck in that Stanley Cup Final, MacKinnon kept his cool and refused to get frustrated. In Game 6, MacKinnon scored the equalizer and assisted on Lehkonen’s winning goal. Considering all that MacKinnon has meant to the Avalanche, it was fitting that he was the one to deliver this game.

End of an impressive race in Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning won just two wins before winning three consecutive Stanley Cups, which has only been done five times in NHL history. Although that loss stings, the Lightning still managed one of the most impressive streaks of the salary cap era.

The Lightning have won 11 consecutive playoffs, which is a monumental feat considering the constraints 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 deserves all the praise in the world for being so consistent in three years. I doubt Tampa Bay is going away anytime 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 they’ve shown in each of the past three playoffs.

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