After an embarrassing 7-0 loss in game two, the Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back and won game three with a commanding 6-2 win over the red-hot Colorado Avalanche. While Brayden Point was out of the lineup due to a lower-body injury that was reaggravated in game two, the Lightning’s offense was the best it’s been this entire series.
The win was hard-fought and fully deserved by the Lightning, with every player making a difference Monday night. With that being said, here are five things to take away from Monday night’s must-win game three against the Avalanche.
1. Offense Shines Despite Point Being Out
The Lightning’s offense played their best game of the series as four Lightning players finished the night with multiple points, with those four forwards and one defenseman finishing the night with two points. Head coach Jon Cooper seemed to focus more on the offense this game and it seems to have worked, and the crowd had no complaints as the offense put up six goals.
2. The Big Cat is Back
After an embarrassing two games, Andrei Vasilevskiy redeemed himself with an impressive 37 save performance on 39 shots. Without his performance on Monday night, the Lightning might not have left the arena trailing only 2-1 in the series. If Vasilevskiy can keep this strong play up in the coming days, the Lightning should have a better chance to tie up this series, and hopefully, even lead it.
3. The Powerplay Finally Strikes
The Lightning’s powerplay has not been able to penetrate the Avalanche’s top-tier penalty kill for the entire series until Monday night. The Lightning had twelve powerplay shots and a powerplay goal by Corey Perry to finally get the powerplay goal that Lightning fans have been wanting the team to get since the series started. If the Lightning can continue this impressive powerplay, then we could see a nice shift in play from the first two games.
4. Hedman Redeems Himself
The first two games for Victor Hedman were hard to watch, with turnovers and bad play on both ends hurting his game. In game three, however, Hedman had quite the game, putting up two points and finishing the night with a +/- of +3, his first time being positive in this series. Hedman played amazing on both ends of the ice and played some of the best hockey we’ve seen from him this postseason.
5. Cirelli Has His Best Game of the Postseason
Anthony Cirelli has been great so far this postseason, but this game was by far his best. Not only was his goal the highlight of the game, but his play on both ends of the ice was also great and Jon Cooper noticed. Cirelli played nearly 20 minutes on Monday night and finished the night with one goal along with four takeaways, the most of any player on both teams.