Stanley Cup final: Lightning-Avalanche Game 1 live updates

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Andre Burakovsky scored just over a minute into overtime to lift the Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday at Ball Arena in Denver.

Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev scored 48 seconds apart in the second period, as Tampa Bay rallied from an early-two goal deficit to tie the game at 3.

Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin scored less than two minutes apart in the first period as Colorado jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

Nick Paul put the Lightning on the scoreboard with a goal just over three minutes after Nichushkin’s score, but Artturi Lehkonen restored the Avalanche’s two-goal lead with a 5-on-3 goal late in the first period.

The Lightning, trying to become the first team in four decades to win three consecutive NHL championships, trail the best-of-seven series 1-0 heading to Game 2 Saturday in Denver. The last team to win three or more Cups in a row were the New York Islanders, who won four straight from 1980-83.

Center Brayden Point, who missed the past 10 games with a lower-body injury was back in the lineup for the Lightning.

Here’s how it happened:

Overtime

The Avalanche will have 36 seconds remaining on the power play to start the period

One-timer from the left circle hits Lehkonen in the middle of the slot

MacKinnon wrister deflects into the boards

Lightning kill the penalty

AVALANCHE GOAL: Andre Burakovsky scores in overtime off a feed from Nichushkin after a Lightning turnover at the blue line.

(Avalanche wins 4-3 in overtime, leads series 1-0)

Third period

Ross Colton backhander from the top of the crease goes off Darcy Kuemper and over the net

Valeri Nichushkin wrist shot saved by Andrei Vasilevskiy

Cale Makar wrist shot wide of the net

Brandon Hagel breaks up centering pass

Darren Helm shot from the slot saved by Vasilevskiy

Bowen Byram shot wide of the net

Josh Manson wrist shot saved by Vasilevskiy

Logan O’Connor penalized for high-sticking Brayden Point

Nikita Kucherov slap shot saved by Kuemper

Avalanche clear the puck down the ice

Kucherov fans on one-timer from right circle

Kucherov loses puck to Lehkonen, who clears the puck out of the zone

Avalanche kill the penalty

Bowe Byram shoots wide of the net

Manson shot from right circle saved by Vasilevskiy

Pat Maroon shot turned aside by Kuemper

Helm shot from right side blocked by Vasilevskiy

Maroon penalized for delay of game with 1:24 to play for shooting puck out of play in his own zone

MacKinnon shot goes wide

Landeskog stopped from right circle by Vasilevskiy

Lightning clear the puck out of the zone

MacKinnon shot off the rush blocked over the net by Hedman

Hedman short-handed chance deflected wide

Makar shot at the buzzer blocked by sliding Sergachev

(Lightning, Avalanche tied 3-3 after regulation)

Second period

Jan Rutta shot blocked by J.T. Compher

Rutta shot hits the left post

Steve Stamkos shot from left circle saved by Darcy Kuemper

Ondrej Palat whiffs on follow-up attempt after set-up from Stamkos

Pat Maroon and Jack Johnson penalized for roughing, so we’ll have 4-on-4 play for two minutes

Cirelli hit up against the boards by Manson

Mason rubs out Hedman, who appeared by be clipped with a high stick

Sergachev shot from right circle smothered by Kuemper

Matching penalties are over

Ryan McDonagh hits Jack Johnson in the middle of the ice

Avalanche penalized for too many men on the ice

Colorado clears the puck off the faceoff

Avalanche send the puck back out of the zone

Avalanche again clear the puck

Lehtonen picks off Kucherov pass and sends the puck down the ice

Sergachev whiffs on one-timer and Erik Johnson clears the puck

Corey Perry misses the net from right circle

Avalanche kill the penalty

Colton breaks up centering pass

Nichushkin back-hander denied by Vasilevskiy after turnover by Rutta

Killorn one-timer blocked by Lehkonen

Vasilevskiy stops back-to-back Nichushkin shots from the slot

Erik Johnson shot saved by Vasilevskiy

LIGHTNING GOAL! Nikita Kucherov backhand pass sets up Ondrej Palat for tip-in from the crease. Avalanche 3, Lightning 2 (12:51)

Brandon Hagel shot off the rush deflects into the corner

LIGHTNING GOAL! Mikhail Sergachev scores on wrist shot from the right point, through traffic, off the post and into the net. Lightning 3, Avalanche 3.

Nico Sturm drives the right side of the net but shut down by Vasilevskiy

MacKinnon tip from right circle stopped by Vasilevskiy with the blocker

Vasilevskiy pokes puck off Compher’s stick on breakaway

Makar shoots wide of the net

(Lightning, Avalanche tied 3-3 after two periods)

First period

Mikko Rantanen backhander saved by Andrei Vasilevskiy after Brayden Point turnover

Darren Helm wrist shot saved by Vasilevskiy

Jack Johnson wrist shot saved by Vasilevskiy

Ross Colton shot blocked by Andre Burakovsky

Jan Rutta slap shot saved by Darcy Kuemper

Erik Cernak breaks up Colorado 3-on-2

Valeri Nichushkin sharp-angle shot hits the post

Helm shot goes off Vasilevskiy’s shoulder out of play

Josh Manson penalized for holding Nick Paul’s stick, giving Lightning their first power play

Nikita Kucherov shot wide of the net

Anthony Cirelli tip wide of the net

Steven Stamkos blast goes into the corner

Devon Toews clears the puck

Kucherov one-timer blocked by Johnson

Artturi Lehkonen clears the puck

Avalanche kill the penalty; Lightning had two shots on the power play

Cernak wrist shot goes off Kuemper’s blocker

AVALANCHE GOAL: Gabriel Landeskog pushes puck into the net from the crease after Mikko Rantanen shot from left circle leaks through Vasilevskiy. Avalanche 1, Lightning 0 (7:47)

AVALANCHE GOAL: Valeri Nichushkin scores from the slot. Avalanche 2, Lightning 0 (9:23)

Vasilevskiy makes right pad save on Burakovsky breakaway

Maroon shot from right circle stopped by Kuemper

Mikhail Sergachev wrist shot saved by Kuemper

Victor Hedman turnaround shot deflected out of play by Artturi Lehkonen

LIGHTNING GOAL! Nick Paul chips puck into open side of the net after it does off Erik Johnson’s stick. Avalanche 2, Lightning 1 (12:26).

Nathan MacKinnon shot blocked by Mikhail Sergachev

J.T. Compher tip saved by Vasilevskiy

Alex Killorn passes just misses Cirelli’s stick on 2-on-1

Toews shot from left point blocked into the corner

Sergachev penalized for tripping MacKinnon as he tried to split Sergachev and Cirelli, and Avalanche get their first power play

MacKinnon blast from left circle saved by Vasilevskiy

Cirelli penalized for tripping Cale Makar just outside Lightning blue line and Avalanche will have two-man advantage for 1:33 (3:40 remaining)

Rantanen shot blocked by Bellemare

Makar shot blocked by Ryan McDonagh

MacKinnon one timer blocked by Vasilevskiy with right pad

AVALANCHE GOAL: Artturi Lehkonen scores on back-door tip of Rantanen shot from right circle 5-on-3 power-play goal from right circle. Avalanche 3, Lightning (17:31)

(Avalanche lead 3-1 after one period)

Pregame scouting report

Can you believe we’re doing this again?

Actually, yeah. Without question.

Because while much of the hockey world continues to overlook the Lightning, bedazzled by other teams’ star power, offensive prowess or regular-season success, Tampa Bay continues to knock off postseason opponents (11 in a row now) while showing that Stanley Cups aren’t won by any of the above.

It’s not just about skill, though the Lightning have it in spades. It’s also about character, trust, sacrifice, playing for the guy next to you. Finding a system that works, accepting your role within it and playing every shift as if it’s your last. Working together, digging deeper than your opponent and willing your way to victory.

Not just once or twice. Sixteen times over a grueling two-month postseason.

Is it any wonder the Lightning touched the Prince of Wales Trophy after the Eastern Conference final? They understand the amount of work that went into winning it.

While the Panthers and their Presidents’ Trophy, Auston Matthews and his goal-scoring title, the Rangers and their top line are sitting at home, the Lightning are in a position to do something no team has in 40 years.

It’s no accident. Because when you sit back and look at what has made the Bolts so successful, it’s built into their DNA.

The organization identifies players that have inner drive, fit into their locker room, fill a particular role and hunger for championships. They develop and coach them to get the most out of their potential and then add just the right complementary pieces through trades or free agency.

As a team, they commit to defense, play responsibly in all three zones, sacrifice their bodies to block shots and lock down opponents when they get a late lead. They don’t freelance (well, okay, aside from Nikita Kucherov) and seldom deviate from their structure.

They have been sharpened over time by numerous near-misses and one flat-out failure while advancing to six conference final series and four Stanley Cup finals over the past eight seasons. They know what success looks like and recognize when their effort isn’t where it needs to be, which is why they never lose confidence in themselves.

Simply, they have built a championship culture.

Now, that belief in themselves and their process will be tested like never before against an Avalanche squad with speed, skill and depth that Lightning captain Steven Stamkos calls the best in the league.

After a 119-point regular season (second only to Florida) that included victories in both games against Tampa Bay, Colorado stormed through the first three rounds of the playoffs with a 12-2 record while averaging a league-best 4.64 goals per game. It has legitimate superstars in Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar.

One of the NHL’s top three regular-season teams over the past three seasons, the Avalanche have learned their own lessons from their recent postseason failures and are hungry for their first title since 2001.

What Colorado doesn’t have is a goaltender the caliber of Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. No team does, but the Avalanche enter the series with starter Darcy Kuemper coming off an injury and Pavel Francouz having made just 22 starts over the regular season and postseason.

Do they have the intangibles necessary to wrest the title from the Lightning?

We’ll find out over the next two weeks, as Colorado aims to end its 20-season championship drought and Tampa Bay seeks to cement its status as the first dynasty of the NHL’s salary-cap era.

Game night scene

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