Stanley Cup Final Game 2 live blog: Lightning vs. Avalanche

9:00 p.m. ET

After one period in Game 2, the Colorado Avalanche lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0, and the partying is in full swing at Ball Arena.

Valery Nichushkin, Josh Manson and Andre Burakovsky have scored for the Avalanche, who outshot the Lightning 11-5 in the period.

Tampa Bay did not have a sniff in the first period, which was territorially dominated by Colorado.

By the end of the period, the Lightning were trying to rattle goalie Darcy Kuemper by bumping him. Corey Perry took a roughing penalty for an altercation with the goalie, and there were several dustups around the crease in the final two minutes.

It was a tactic that worked well late in the last round against the New York Rangers and goalie Igor Shesterkinbut to be successful here they will need more sustained pressure in the next two periods.

8:50 p.m.

The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning are being spun right round by the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2.

Andre Burakovsky, the Game 1 overtime hero, scored at 13:52 of the first to give Colorado a 3-0 lead. Tampa Bay has two shots.

After the goal, the game presentation crew played “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive.

There may not be a more apt song.

After not allowing three first-period goals in any of his first 99 playoff starts, Andrei Vasilevskiy has done it in consecutive games.

The Lightning have to figure out a way to stagger to the dressing room and come up with a plan to slow the Avalanche transition and unlock the suffocating defense Colorado has brought to bear.

Video: TBL@COL, Gm2: Burakovsky converts rebound in tight

8:40 p.m. ET

This is the perfect start for the Avalanche, who now lead 2-0 midway through the first period and are dominating territorially.

Defenseman Josh Manson scored on a 2-on-1 break at 7:55, eschewing the pass for a shot over the shoulder of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiywho allowed three goals in the first period of Game 1 and two on the first five shots in Game 2.

Andrew Coglianowho returned to the lineup for Game 2 from a hand injury, earned the primary assist, and Alex Newhook got his second assist of the game, much to the delight of all of Newfoundland. They are partying on George Street right now, for sure.

Sure, the power-play goal by Valery Nichushkin helped set the tone, but it has been more telling that the Lightning can’t get into the attacking zone with any speed or confidence because the Avalanche have slowed them through the neutral zone and transitioned beautifully to counter the forecheck, as evidenced on the goal by Manson.

8:25 p.m. ET

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said that his players had to weather a 10-minute storm to have a chance in Game 2.

Well, the challenge of that started almost immediately.

Valery Nichushkin scored at 2:54 on the power play, redirecting home a nice pass from Andre Burakovsky. NHL.com blogger Alex Newhook had the secondary assist.

Sixty-one seconds into the game, Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh took a penalty as the Avalanche pressed almost immediately.

Colorado also scored first in Game 1 as well.

This place is going bonkers.

Video: TBL@COL, Gm2: Nichushkin taps dish home on power play

8:10 p.m. ET

We’re just about ready for puck drop in Game 2.

The atmosphere is electric. This place was full a good 20 minutes before the start of the game, and the crowd is ready to party.

They went absolutely bizonkers when Bernie the St. Bernard, the mascot, took the ice, toting a playoff flag. Bernie, by the way, is a top-five mascot in the NHL. Few, if any, are cooler than him when he is circling the ice at top speed.

They got even louder during the pregame videos and booed vociferously when the referees appeared on the ice and were deafening when the scoreboard told them they were the home-ice advantage and throughout the introductions of the Game 2 starters.

It’s so loud in here, it’s hard to think. I hope that is not reflected in my copy.

Let’s play some hockey!

7:55 p.m. ET

The teams are on the ice for warmups, and this place is already a nut house, fans waving their white pom-poms and screaming. The pom-poms are everywhere, by the way, even the bomb-sniffing dog at the media entrance to the arena had one stuffed into its vest. Got to support this team.

Forward Andrew Cogliano is back in the lineup for the Avalanche. He had not played since sustaining a hand injury in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final sweep against the Edmonton Oilers, but only missed Game 1 of the Final.

Cogliano, who will likely play on a line with Nico Sturm and Alex Newhook, has three points (two goals, one assist) in 11 playoff games this season. He replaces Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

Forward Nazem Kadriinjured in Game 3 against the Oilers, remains out, although he has been skating for several days.

The Lightning went with the same lineup from Game 1, and their coach, Jon Cooper, said he expects Brayden Point to be much better in Game 2. He returned in Game 1 after sustaining a lower-body injury May 14, during the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tampa Bay is 19-1 after a loss during the playoffs in the past three seasons.

7:40 p.m. ET

Excitement is at a fever pitch for Game 2 here in Denver, downtown loaded with fans in various Avalanche sweaters getting in some pre-partying in LoDo. Not even a flash thunderstorm, which hopefully takes the sweltering temperatures down a few degrees, could dissuade the fans from gathering in huge numbers across the street at the Tivoli for a pregame concert by DJ Griz.

The fans are fired up to watch their local heroes try take a 2-0 lead in the series, although we did see several Lightning jerseys from our bus on the ride to the arena.

Teams with a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 hold a series record of 341-54 (.863), including 47-5 (.904) in the Stanley Cup Final. In 2022, teams are 4-2 in series after winning the first two games. The Lightning rallied to defeat the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals is six games, and the Rangers did so in the second round against the Hurricanes in seven games.

Thanks for joining us for what should be a wild ride. We’ll be back with lineup news from the pregame skate in just a bit.

.

Leave a Comment