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The Colorado Avalanche took a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday following a 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Colorado can dethrone the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions and capture hockey’s ultimate prize with one more victory. The Avalanche will host the Lightning in Game 5 on Friday.
Nazem Kadri was the hero on Wednesday night with the overtime winner in his first game since June 4 when he was injured in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. He became the ninth player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in his Stanley Cup Final debut. Kadri is the first player to accomplish the feat in a match that wasn’t Game 1 of the series. He concluded the contest with two shots and one hit in 18:42 of ice time.
Colorado has the chance to tie an NHL record for the most wins in a single year with one more victory. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers and the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens racked up 72 combined wins during the regular season and playoffs. The Avalanche currently have 71.
Colorado overcame a pair of one-goal deficits in Game 4 versus Tampa Bay to secure the team’s ninth comeback win of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins (2009) have the record for the most in a single postseason with 10.
COLORADO 3 TAMPA BAY 2 (OT) - Avalanche lead the series 3-1
Nazem Kadri scored the overtime winner 12:02 into the extra period. He made his Stanley Cup Final debut Wednesday after he suffered a thumb injury on June 4 that required surgery to repair.
Anthony Cirelli opened the scoring just 36 seconds into the contest. He has scored three goals this postseason, including two in his past two games.
Nathan MacKinnon’s 12th goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs during a second-period power play tied the game at 1-1. It was his first marker of the Cup Final. He also had a game-high eight shots on goal.
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Victor Hedman restored Tampa Bay’s one-goal advantage just past the midway point of the second stanza. He concluded the contest with seven shots and ended his 15-game goalless slump.
Andrew Cogliano’s third goal of the postseason evened it up again for the Avalanche 2:53 into the third period
Logan O'Connor posted a game-high six hits.
Mikhail Sergachev led all skaters with eight blocks.
Kuemper turned aside 37 of 39 shots for the win. He also assisted on Kadri’s overtime winner.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of 37 shots in the defeat.
Brayden Point missed a second straight game due to a lower-body injury. He hasn’t been ruled out for the series, but it is unclear if he will be ready to play on Friday in Game 5.
Cernak was injured on a shot block in Game 4. He tried to come back, but he didn’t get back on the ice for another shift.