DENVER – If NHL 22 is accurate, the Colorado Avalanche will pull off a win for the ages to win their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Many people use video games to make predictions and now that the NHL series has finally moved to the Frostbite engine, the game honestly looks better than anything we have seen in the last eight years.
Gabriel Landeskog scores on a wrist shot just 3:09 into the first period that sailed by the glove of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Kuemper under attack by the Lightning offense and is making some impressive stops, but will need some help getting the puck out of the Avalanche zone.
Darcy Kuemper under attack by the Lightning offense and is making some impressive stops, but will need some help getting the puck out of the Avalanche zone. Nick Paul is rejected by Kuemper and Alex Killorn is denied on the rebound.
A turnover in the neutral zone and here comes Paul again. Kuemper makes the save but on the rebound, Killorn is all over Kuemper uncontested and backhands it into the net. It’s a tie game here in the first period.
On the very next play, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos blasts a snap shot by Kuemper and Tampa Bay has very quickly changed the tide of this game.
At the end of the first: Lightning 2 Avalanche 1
Shots on goal: Colorado 14 Tampa Bay 13
The Lightning are on the powerplay after Landeskog is whistled for interference. Upon replay, it wasn’t interference, but a hard check into the boards on a player who had the puck. But hey, video games aren’t always accurate. Nonetheless, Tampa Bay has the advantage.
It’s a mess by the net and Corey Perry scores to make it 3-1 Tampa.
The Lightning are getting aggressive here in Denver and a bad turnover in the neutral zone, and here comes Alex Newhook on the breakaway. And…he scores on a backhand that skips by the glove of Vasilevskiy.
Nikita Kucherov blasts one and Kuemper robs him with an amazing glove save. The Lightning win the following faceoff and Kuemper continues to come up big with the pads and is keeping his Avalanche squad in the game.
Now the Avalanche get the breakout moving and head up the ice. Nathan MacKinnon blasts a one-timer off a pass from Mikko Rantanen and Vasilevskiy makes a phenomenal save, but the Lightning turn it over. The puck is recovered from Valeri Nichushkin and he rips it by Vasilevskiy to tie the game at 3 with just 14 seconds remaining in the second period.
End of 2: Lightning 3 Avalanche 3
SOG Lightning 28 Avalanche 27
The Avalanche are teeing off on their counterparts to start the third and Vasilevskiy denies shots from Rantanen and Nichushkin, who then subsequently went for the rebound but nothing was to be found. However, Victor Hedman lands a late hit on Nichushkin, who was nowhere near the puck, and that will give the Avalanche a powerplay. And, oh boy. The last thing you want to do is give Colorado a man advantage. These guys have been absolutely devastating on the PP this postseason.
Kadri fires a wrist shot and a pad save from Vasilevskiy but on the rebound, Kadri capitalizes and scores! The Avalanche are up 4-3.
But hold that thought. With 10:45 left in regulation, Kucherov blasts a slapper and beats Kuemper. We’re all nodded up again at 4-4.
Time is ticking away. Less than a minute remaining and the Avalanche appear to have the upper hand.
Manson to Newhook for the one-timer and he scores with 26 seconds left on the clock!
And the Colorado Avalanche, for the third time in franchise history, are Stanley Cup champions.
Now of course, the game may not go this way. Heck, Colorado might run away with it, but it’s fun to look at the possibilities.
Nonetheless, we’ll be there for Game 5. See you in Denver!