The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 on Sunday at Amalie Arena to capture their third Stanley Cup title in franchise history. Nathan MacKinnon helped the Avalanche to victory by scoring two goals (1G, 1A). Lehkonen’s fourth game-winning goal of the postseason clinched the win for the Avs. Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves on 23 shots in his first career playoff shutout as a member of the championship roster. Makar was named the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, which is given annually to the most valuable player, after recording 29 points (8G, 21A) in 20 games during this year’s playoffs.
The Colorado Avalanche ended an amazing season with a victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final to bring back the Stanley Cup to Colorado for the first time since 2001. It was, in fact, the Tampa Bay Lightning that opened scoring early as a tenacious forecheck confined the Avalanche in their own end and permitted Steven Stamkos to sneak into the crease and slip a loose puck between Darcy Kuemper’s legs.
The Avalanche needed a response after being behind by a goal in the first period. Later Colorado altered the script and came back from its 1-0 deficit with a two-goal showing and 13-9 shot advantage. Mackinnon fueled the comeback as he scored the equalizer at 1:54, providing the Avs their first lead of the game.
Colorado continued to throw the jump with its equalizer, which was scored by Gabriel Landeskog at 10:08. They capitalized on Lehkonen’s game-winning goal at 12:28 with a transition play involving Josh Manson as the puck carrier and Nathan MacKinnon, whose initial effort to return the puck to Ryan McDonagh was disallowed. The puck took a fortunate deflection off the skate of a Tampa Bay defenseman and popped out in front of the left circle, where Lehkonen buried a one-timer from the far side past Vasilevskiy. Lehkonen’s one-timer from the left circle gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when he buried it.