The Colorado Avalanche took a 3-1 lead in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 overtime win in a pivotal Game 4 in Tampa on Wednesday. After dropping their first game on the road this series, the Avalanche now head home with a chance to clinch their first title since 2001.
Colorado’s Nazem Kadri, playing in his first game since being sidelined with a thumb injury during Game 3 of the Western Conference final, scored the game winner at 12:02 in OT.
The Lightning opened scoring just 36 seconds into the game as Anthony Cirelli found the net. That would be the only goal of the first period.
Colorado finally answered with a power-play goal by Nathan MacKinnon – his first goal of the series – at 5:17 in the second period. Tampa Bay was quick to get back on the board, however, with Victor Hedman scoring at 10:42 to make it 2-1. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had a monster second period in the effort, logging 15 saves.
Nico Sturm tied it up for Colorado at 17:07 in the third period. The score held at 2-2 for the rest of the frame, sending the game to overtime.
Kadri’s OT goal required a replay review after officials appeared unsure if it went in. Video showed the puck bounce off Vasilevskiy and hit the back of the net. Darcy Kuemper recorded an assist on the goal, becoming the first goaltender to assist on an overtime winner in Stanley Cup Final history, per Sportsnet.
“My heart breaks for the players because we probably should still be playing,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, questioning whether Kadri’s goal should have counted. He didn’t specify why.
The Avalanche are now 5-1 in overtime this postseason, including a win in Game 1 of this series. Wednesday’s close contest deviated from the last two games, where the Avalanche and Lightning each logged a blowout win.
Game 5 is back in Colorado on Friday at 8 pm ET.
(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today)