It took over 130 minutes of hockey in the Stanley Cup Final for the Tampa Bay Lightning to take a lead.
The back-to-back Stanley Cup champions came into Monday night’s Game 3 against the Colorado Avalanche staring down a 2-0 series deficit and looking for a spark. After the Avalanche scored an early goal, the Lightning battled back to take a 2-1 lead — their first of the entire series — on Ondrej Palat’s perfect shot.
On the counterattack, Palat dropped a pass to Steven Stamkos in the offensive zone, then the Lightning captain feathered a pass back across the ice to the waiting goal scorer. The Avalanche were so preoccupied with Stamkos that they left Palat wide open in front of the net, who went top shelf on Darcy Kuemper for the 2-1 lead.
What a gorgeous sequence of passes from that Lightning line, confusing the Avalanche and capitalizing with their incredible skill. That is the kind of play back-to-back Stanley Cup champions make!