5 Takeaways from Game One of the Stanley Cup Final

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped game one of the Stanley Cup Final at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche in overtime. Andre Burakovsky scored the overtime winner for Colorado 1:23 into the overtime.

The win was well deserved for Colorado as they outplayed the Lightning for much of the contest. Despite not playing very well, Tampa Bay still had a chance to win in the end and were just not able to get that break and came up one goal short.

Let’s get into what we took away from game one.

1. Slow Start for the Lightning

The first period of game one seemed as though the Lightning were the ones who had just had a significant layoff ahead of Cup Final. Allowing three goals in the first period is something we really do not see from this team. The most glaring part of the slow start was that two of those three Avalanche goals probably should have been stopped by Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Now that Vasilevskiy and the Lightning are in deep in this series now, you cannot expect for them to come out of the gate in game two the way they did in this game. A promising sign was Vasilevskiy’s play for the second two periods of the game as he did not give up anything more and kept his team in the game.

2. Lightning Not Managing the Puck

One of the biggest things from watching the Avalanche this season has been that they seem to always be in control of the game. They seem to always have the puck and be dictating the terms. That seemed to remain true for much of game as the Lightning were not sharp enough when managing the puck. Turnovers in their own end and in the neutral zone burned them on the second Colorado goal and again on the overtime winner.

The Lightning need to be able to get the puck in deep more in their offensive zone and spend more time on the attack. They did not seem to have much possession in the offensive zone as much as they would like and that is exactly what Colorado is trying to do.

3.  Powerplay Struggles Continue

The Lightning powerplay has dried up since scoring two goals on the powerplay in game three against the Rangers. Tampa Bay went scoreless on three opportunities on the powerplay in game one. They were unable to generate a ton of great opportunities, but credit to the penalty killing by Colorado.

If the Lightning had gotten something on those three chances, it could have been a significantly different game. It looked early like on like they were trying to force the play to Brayden Point to try and get him going in his return to game action. Look for this Lightning powerplay to breakthrough at some point here in this series as they have now gone empty in their last four games on the man advantage. It is only a matter of time.

4. Puck Luck not Going the Lightning’s Way

You earn your breaks in this league and the Avalanche were more than deserving of the win and the breaks they got in game one. They outplayed the Lightning in almost every part of the game and the Lightning were still right there with a chance to win. In overtime, a bounce here or there and this could have been a much different result. Ultimately, Colorado got those couple of bounces in the overtime and that ended up being the difference maker on the scoreboard. But don’t get it twisted, Colorado earned and deserved this one.

5.  Brayden Point’s Return

Point returned to the Lightning lineup after missing the last 10 games. Point slotted in a little lower down the lineup than he typically is slotting in with Nick Paul and Ross Colton. Point still managed to play just under 18 minutes and recorded a secondary assist on Paul’s goal in the first period.

It is tough to return to play after missing that much time, especially if you are getting thrown into the Stanley Cup Final. It seemed evident at times that Point was maybe not as sharp as he often is. He mismanaged the puck a handful of times and did not quite have that magical tough in the offensive zone just yet. You would expect for that to come along as he gets into the rhythm of the series so there is no reason to be concerned in that regard.

Next. Ranking the Top Five Lightning Players from Round Three. dark