The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to force a Game 7 in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night in Game 6. The face-off is at 8 p.m. East.
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The Lightning avoided elimination on Friday night with a late goal from Ondrej Palat in a 3-2 victory in Game 5. Jan Rutta and Nikita Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay.
What: 2022 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6.
Who: Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning. Colorado leads the series, 3-2.
When: Sunday, June 26, 2022.
Time: 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa (19,092).
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Moneyline: Avalanche -118, Lightning -102.
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Read some of what The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno wrote about the Avalanche being a road win away from their first Stanley Cup in 21 years.
Josh Manson still had his bags half full from the last time the Colorado Avalanche were on the road, when they returned home with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
This does not happenand now he and his teammates face Game 6 Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the arena where they hoisted the Cup a year ago to become back-to-back champions.
Seeking to win their first championship as a group and the organization’s first since 2001, the Avalanche know the immense challenge they face against a desperate opponent who has more experience this far into the playoffs. playoffs.
“You have to have that desperation because it’s the finals,” Manson said Saturday in Denver before flying to Tampa. “You can’t look at how many games we have left. You have to be desperate every game.”
Colorado would be desperate to avoid a second straight loss that would set up Game 7 at home Wednesday and Tampa Bay being one win away from a hat-trick. And he even has a recipe for handling this situation against a more experienced opponent in the playoffs.
It happened in the second round when the Avalanche took a 3-1 second-round lead against rival St. Louis – the last team to win the Cup before the The lightning race has begun in 2020. Much like Friday night, they lost a one-goal game at home to the Blues before bouncing back to close the series on the road in St. Louis.
Manson said the Avalanche learned a bit of desperation in that streak, but the stakes are higher in the Finals with the Stanley Cup in the building.
“I know how much our guys want it now: they worked for it,” coach Jared Bednar said. “There’s a certain amount of stress and anxiety that you have to try to get out of your head so you can put in your best performance.”
The Lightning know all about this mental gymnastics, including new tricks they learned in the playoffs. The Eastern Conference Finals was the first time they’ve followed a series since being swept in the first round in 2019 – the loss that paved the way for this run – and not taking a behind 3-1 so far.
Having already avoided elimination once, and with the experience of winning 11 straight series, coach Jon Cooper and his team know exactly what to expect from each side in Game 6.
“There’s no doubt that we’re better equipped in those situations because you feel (like) you’re putting yourself in other teams’ shoes too, and what they must be thinking, what you’re thinking when you’re in those situations and how the games went,” Cooper said. “It’s experience. … And experience matters.
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