Avalanche lose grip on a 3–2 lead to the Lightning


The Colorado Avalanche faced the Tampa Bay Lightning at the end of a long road trip, which lead to losing their grip and succumbing to exhaustion. The Lightning outplayed the Avalanche in the third period and closed the night out with a win.

First period

The first half of the first period looked solid for the Avalanche. After the two teams swapped penalties and multiple shots, Bowen Byram put the Avalanche on the board first. Byram redirected the puck from Lightning forward Brandon Hagel to secure his seventh goal of the season. Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon both picked up assists.

With three minutes remaining, Brayden Point picked up his 26th goal of the season after the puck trickled over his shoulder. Shortly after, the Avalanche turned over the puck in their own zone, allowing for another Lightning goal. Nikita Kucherov scored his 35th goal of the season with assistance from Hagel and Anthony Cirelli.

Kucherov continues to lead the league in points and assists. After tonight’s game, he has 93 points, 36 goals, and 57 assists in 57 games so far this season.

Second period

Rantanen kicked the second off with a two-minute slashing penalty. The Avalanche were able to kill this off just before MacKinnon received a deflected puck to the face. After a trip to the locker room, MacKinnon returned to the ice with six minutes to spare and a bigger visor.

Byram scores his second goal of the night after Lightning goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, failed to cover the puck. The Avalanche closed out the second period, trailing in shots on goal 21–23.

Third period

Artturi Lehkonen opened the third with a tipped-in goal to pull the Avalanche ahead 3–2. MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin assisted him. Since Lehkonen has been back, in his last two games, he has had three goals and three assists.

The Avalanche lead didn’t last for long. Twenty seconds later, Steven Stamkos responded with a goal of his own from Kucherov and Victor Hedman. The Lightning then pulled ahead, 3–4, with another goal from Kucherov, tallying his third point of the night. This is where the Avalanche lost their grip on the game.

Colorado finished the night by pulling Justus Annunen and putting another man on the ice. With less than a minute remaining, Cirelli and Nick Perbix scored on the empty net. The final score was 6–3 in favor of the Lightning.


Justus Annunen played a strong game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, defending 33 of the 37 shots he faced. When the team needed them most, he stepped up and made vital saves.

Byram had a night for himself, scoring two goals and playing outstanding defense. MacKinnon added two points to his resume tonight.

The Avalanche will be back home at Ball Arena on Sunday afternoon to take on the Arizona Coyotes.

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