Colorado Avalanche Win Stanley Cup After Beating Reigning Champions

Avalanche Win Stanley Cup NHL Background

  • Second Period dominance gives Avalanche third Cup
  • Avs cover moneyline for fifth time in the Stanley Cup series
  • Makar Wins MVP after leading Colorado in scoring

MacKinnon Paces Avalanche to Stanley Cup Title

Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon tied Game 6 with his goal at 1:54 into the second period. Then, he set up Arturri Lehkonen with the game-winner at 12:28 as the Colorado Avalanche downed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sunday night and won their first Stanley Cup championship in 21 years.

MacKinnon took his game-tying pass at a deep angle from Gabriel Landeskog for the tie score and a push of momentum early in the second period.

MacKinnon’s shot was at the bottom of the left circle and it went by Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s right skate for the 1-1 tie.

The Avalanche center was once again in the fray for what would be Colorado’s game-winning goal.

Then at 12:28 in the second period, MacKinnon scooped the puck to Lehkonen on the left side on an odd-man rush.

Lehkonen scored on the right side of the net in what was over Vasilevskiy’s left shoulder for the 2-1 lead and what would eventually be the win.

Tampa Bay had once again gotten on the board first as Steven Stamkos scored a goal, just 3:48 into the first period.

Colorado outshot Tampa Bay, 30-23, although the Lightning outhit the Avalanche, 40-37.

Colorado took out the Florida Panthers in a four-game sweep for their first Cup in 1996, ironically in the state of Florida. Then, They won a seven-game series over the New Jersey Devils in 2001.

Avalanche Covers Once Again as Favorite

The Colorado Avalanche (-450) came into Sunday night’s Game 6 as the favorite to win the series although they were a slight underdog (-115) on the moneyline in visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning (-105) in Amalie Arena.

Colorado was the favorite from the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign as the Avalanche opened the season at (+600) and they entered the Stanley Cup playoffs as the favorite with (+210) attached.

After Tampa Bay dispatched the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals, the Avalanche stashed an impressive (-188) as the favorite while the Lightning sat at (+155).

Please Note:
The puck line for Game 6 on Sunday evening sat the Avalanche at (-1.5) which was the fifth time in the six outings that they had been favored per the puck line. However, Colorado only covered once as the Avs were 1-5 per the puck line with that orchestration coming in a 7-0 decision in Game 2.

The two teams split four one-goal decisions with Colorado winning three of those four and the last three Stanley Cup meetings were decided by one goal each.

Makar pushes Avalanche into Stanley Cup championship

Colorado defenseman Cale Makar showed up in a tremendous way offensively as he led the Avalanche with 29 points in scoring eight goals but dishing 21 assists.

While MacKinnon led Colorado with 13 goals and Gabriel Landeskog netted 11, Makar was similar to a playmaker all over the ice as he set the stage for an Avalanche squad that averaged 4.6 goals per game during the 2021-22 season.

Makar’s 29 points are the fourth most in the history of the NHL playoffs for any defenseman as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Paul Coffey is the all-time leader when he scored 37 points in the 1984-85 playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Lightning missed the opportunity to be the first team since the 1983 New York Islanders to win three consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

Nikita Kucherov finished the playoffs with 27 points to lead Tampa Bay as he combined eight goals with 19 assists. Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos netted 11 goals each as the Lightning’s two-year Stanley Cup championship streak ended.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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