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    Nazem Kadri scored at 12:02 of overtime — perhaps with too many Colorado players on the ice — and the Avalanche beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to move within a victory of dethroning the two-time defending champion Lightning. Playing for the first time since June 4 due to a thumb injury, Kadri skated in on Andrei Vasilevskiy and slipped a shot under the goaltender’s right arm to give Colorado a 3-1 series lead. Without specifically saying Tampa Bay felt Colorado had too many men on the ice for the winning goal, Lightning coach Jon Cooper suggested the goal should not have been allowed. Game 5 is Friday night in Denver.

      Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored four times in the second period and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Anthony Cirelli, Nicholas Paul and Corey Perry also scored to help the two-time defending champion Lightning bounce back after playing poorly while losing the first two games on the road. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots. Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored in the second period, when the Lightning chased Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper while pulling away to trim their series deficit to 2-1. Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche. Game 4 is Wednesday night.

      Andre Burakovsky scored 1:23 into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche opened the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory over the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. Burakovsky ended it after the Avalanche failed to score on a power play that began late in regulation when three-time champ Patrick Maroon put the puck over the glass. Burakovsky is one of only two Avalanche players who have won the Cup. The game likely wouldn’t have even reached OT if not for big penalty kills by the Avalanche, who were 3 for 3 against Tampa Bay’s potent power play. The final kill featured a crucial save by goaltender Darcy Kuemper and a series of clears by Norris Trophy finalist defenseman Cale Makar.

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      The Stanley Cup Final is a showdown between the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the high-scoring Colorado Avalanche. Colorado is averaging a playoff high 4.61 goals a game. Tampa Bay's 2.41 goals against is the lowest of any team that made it past the first round. The Lightning know from prior postseason runs how to adjust their style of play for their opponent. This series is another test of containing a team that can fly up and down the ice and fill the net.

      Bettendorf's Luke Toporowski signed a two-year American Hockey League contract Sunday with the Providence Bruins. His contract runs through the 2023-2024 season.

      Ondrej Palat scored on a deflection with 1:50 remaining to break a tie and lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night for a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference final. Mikhail Sergachev and Brandon Hagel also scored to help the two-time defending champion Lightning get their third straight win, the first by a road team in this series. Andre Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots. Ryan Lindgren scored for New York, which had won eight straight at home. Igor Shesterkin finished with 24 saves. Game 6 is Saturday night in Tampa, Florida.

      Nikita Kucherov scored on a breakaway and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 33 saves , helping the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the New York Rangers 4-1 and even the NHL’s Eastern Conference final at two games apiece. Kucherov took a pass from Ondrej Palat in the middle of the ice and skated in on goaltender Igor Shesterkin to give the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions a two-goal lead just over 13 minutes into the second period. Palat, Pat Maroon and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, who have rebounded from losing the first two games of the series on the road to keep their bid to become the first team in nearly 40 years to win three consecutive Stanley Cup titles alive. Game 5 is Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

      Artturi Lehkonen scored 1:19 into overtime, and Colorado rallied to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 Monday night, completing a four-game sweep in the Western Conference final and sending the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001. Colorado will take on the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the New York Rangers and two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Cale Makar, Devon Toews Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen also scored for Colorado. Pavel Francouz stopped 30 of 35 shots. Zach Hyman scored twice for the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian also scored for Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl had four assists and goalie Mike Smith finished with 36 saves.

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