Just when it looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning were down and out, they came back, as they seemingly always do, with a sharp response. After conceding the first goal on Monday night at home to the Colorado Avalanche, many felt that they were going to get pummeled again. They had hit the Avs with their best shot only to give up the first goal, so surely that was the beginning of the end and they were headed for a 3-0 deficit. Right? Not exactly.
The two-time defending champs are back in the Stanley Cup Final for a reason, and they showed their resolve by finding the net twice in a two-minute run of play in the first period to take the lead. Six of the last seven goals, in fact, went their way as they raced to a 6-2 win at the buzzer, signaling to their visitors, who had looked unstoppable in a 7-0 demolition in Game 2, that they were intent on making a series out of it. Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon, and Ondrej Palat all chipped in with a goal and an assist in the rout while Nikita Kuchervo had two helpers to his name. Heading into Wednesday’s Game 4, much will be on the line. Will it be Tampa’s penultimate stand or will they even it up prior to moving back to Denver?