Talk about grabbing a series by the throat.
With the dominating victory, Colorado heads to South Florida brimming with confidence, while Tampa Bay has to come up with answers, and fast.
Game 3 is Monday night at Amalie Arena.
Two goals apiece by by standouts Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar, along with tallies by Josh Manson, Andre Burakovsky and Darren Helm, gave the Avalanche the win by a touchdown and an extra point. Goalie Darcy Kuemper was a wall, turning aside all 17 shots he faced.
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The Lightning looked overmatched in all facets of the game, as coach Jon Cooper attested. Even rock-solid goaltender Andre Vasilevskiy appeared vulnerable in giving up the bevy of goals while making 23 stops. Tampa Bay dropped to 18-2 in the postseason in games after loss since 2020.
A scary proposition for the Lightning: Colorado has seized this edge without a goal from Nathan MacKinnon, its best player.
Can Tampa Bay rebound from two games down, as it did in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers? Or will the Avalanche move one stride closer to their first Cup since 2001? FrontPageBets takes a look at wagers of interest in a vital Game 3 in the chase for an NHL championship.
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)
Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
When: Monday, 8 p.m.
Site: Amalie Arena, Tampa
Puck line: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+220); Colorado +1.5 (-260)
Money line: Tampa Bay -110; Colorado -110
Total: Over 6 (+100); Under 6 (-120)
The pick: Tampa Bay, 3-2.
Gerry Ahern is senior content editor for FrontPageBets. A 35-year veteran sports editor and digital media executive, he has led coverage of the biggest events in sports, from Super Bowls, to Final Fours, to Olympics, to the Masters.