Lightning's 3-Peat Hopes On Life Support

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The Stanley Cup Final logo is displayed on center ice before the start of Game One of the NHL championship series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche in Denver
The Stanley Cup Final logo is displayed on center ice before the start of Game One of the NHL championship series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche in Denver

The Tampa Bay Lightning's dreams of a third-straight championship may have been dashed Wednesday after an overtime loss against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The victory gave the Avalanche a 3-1 series lead, making them overwhelming favorites to clinch the title.

Colorado has -1250 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook to win the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay is a +900 underdog to pull off the upset by winning three games in a row.

The Lightning held a 2-1 lead in the third period of Game 4 until Andrew Cogliano’s goal tied up the contest. Colorado sent Tampa Bay on the brink of elimination with a controversial goal by Nazem Kadri in the extra session.

The Avalanche might have gotten away with having six skaters on the ice just before Kadri ended the game. Either way, the Lightning have their backs against the wall while facing the team that’s been favored to win the championship for the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The series returns to Colorado for Game 5 Friday night. The Avalanche have -172 odds to eliminate the Lightning before Game 6. The Lightning have +142 odds to send the series back home.

The back-to-back champions have faced plenty of adversity on the road to the Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay overcame a 3-2 series deficit against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. The Lightning trailed the New York Rangers 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals before going on a four-game winning streak.

Neither of the Lightning’s consecutive championships came down to Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay held a 3-1 series lead before defeating the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. Last year, the Lightning eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

Two of Tampa Bay’s three losses against Colorado have come in overtime. The Avalanche blew out the Lightning 7-0 in Game 2. It was Tampa Bay’s turn in Game 3, winning 6-2 at home.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has improved in the last two games after allowing 11 goals on 68 shot attempts to start the series. The 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy winner posted a .934 save percentage in Game 3 and Game 4.

It's been 39 years since an NHL team last won three straight championships.




Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / Harry How

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