The right team needed a hero, and Andre Burakovsky provided the heroics in overtime.
The Avalanche took Game 1 of The Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 at Ball Arena following Burakovsky’s overtime tally. Colorado led 2-0 and 3-1 before the Bolts fought back to even the score. But from that point forward, the Avs shut things down, and were able to come away with a victory.
“The right team won the game,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “So give them credit for pulling it out.”
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Tampa Bay was held to just eight shots in the final 28 minutes of the game as the Avs outshot the Bolts 37-22.
“We’ve got better in us,” Cooper said. “I don’t think by a country mile did we give them our best game and we still had a chance to pull it out. But to beat a talented like that, we’ve got a better game in us.”
The evening started with the Avalanche feeding off an energetic crowd — one that’s waited 21 years for a moment like this. Colorado scored twice before the 10-minute mark as Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin beat superstar goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Even after Nick Paul got one back for the Bolts, the Avs struck again before the break thanks to Artturi Lehkonen’s tipped shot on the lengthy 5-on-3 power play.