The excitement generated for game one was worth it for those fans fortunate enough to be in Denver at the Ball Arena Wednesday night witnessing some two-goal leads, a tied game for nearly half an hour, overtime, and the home team vanquishing the visitors.
The Avalanche appeared ready to go right from the opening faceoff despite the prognostications of the announcers that were obsequiously flattering the Lightning all game, highlighted by the announcer’s description of Colorado’s first two scores as “not the prettiest but they went in”.
The first goal was a beautiful shot that went through Mr. Vasilevskiy’s glove side by Mr. Rantanen and as it was going towards the net when Mr. Landeskog made sure with the tip as he was being hooked around the waist by Mr. Hagel and fell to the ice.
The second goal was better than the first as Mr. Makar checks Mr. Paul off the puck along the dasher board getting Mr. MacKinnon the puck who alertly snaps a pass to a wide-open Mr. Nichushkin whose greasy wrister from the top of the faceoff circle beats Mr. Vasilevskiy.
If it is an ugly goal example required the Lightning’s first score was just that and a bit of luck for Tampa Bay’s Mr. Paul who now has scored four goals and four assists in these playoffs from a player who could barely score for Ottawa over seven seasons.
The third goal resulted from a 5-on-3 benefiting from Tampa Bay’s inability to stop tripping Colorado’s best offensive players, no matter how many times Mr. Cirelli shakes his head no in the penalty box, he did trip Mr. Makar.
Now HC Cooper began to get emotional when he thought there should have been an offside call before Colorado burned Mr. Vasilevskiy again, offside review will always come down to the linesmen’s call on the ice.
Video replay clearly highlights Mr. Makar did not touch the puck until Mr. Nichushkin cleared the zone, on-air reporting citing NHL video coaches from teams not in the playoffs all backing the linesman’s call.
In the second period Tampa Bay skates to within one of Colorado with a beautiful score of their own compliments of Mr. Kucherov, who when passing to the goal scorer Mr. Palat was mentioned “for his brilliance” of his assist by the fawning announcer.
Moments later Tampa Bay scores again for the tie and with approximately six and half minutes remaining in the second period there will not be another goal scored until overtime.
Overtime lasted 83 seconds as the Avalanche took control of the puck mid-ice and skated into the offensive zone with an even-man rush of three-on-three as the Lightning defenseman blocked the initial shot it went to a Colorado player who passed it across the ice to Mr. Burakovsky who scored.
The NHL had scheduled the first game Wednesday night with the second game three nights later, a long delay between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals but Saturday night at eight o’clock Colorado hosts game two.