DENVER | You don't get rid of the double Stanley Cup champions like you get rid of a bottom-ranking team. The Avalanche had proof of this when they saw their two-goal lead melt away during the second period.
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Luckily, Jared Bednar's squad managed to regroup in time to take the first game of this confrontation in overtime.
“I wasn’t worried to see us lose the lead. We have gone through worse trials this season. I had confidence in our group, indicated Gabriel Landeskog, after the meeting. We must not forget that we are playing against the Lightning. They are a talented team that is not easily beaten.
It was Andrei Burakovsky, with his second goal of the playoffs, who put an end to the debate in the 83rd second of play of the extra period.
“I saw J.T. Compher grab the puck in the neutral zone. I hurried out of the territory. Then we went back there. He made quite a game. I only had to shoot on goal, ”described the hero of the meeting.
Still a lot of work
Besides, Bednar had been very mysterious about the identity of his starting goalkeeper. Nevertheless, we suspected that he would call on Darcy Kuemper. He managed his comeback by repelling 20 of the 23 shots he faced.
“The Lightning scored two quick goals in the second period, but my mentality never changed. All I was focused on doing was stopping the next shot."
The two teams will meet again only on Saturday. In the Avalanche camp, we obviously expect a response from the Lightning.
“This is only the first match, the first victory, there is still a long way to go, argued Artturi Lehkonen, author of the third goal for his team. The Lightning is a resistant group. It will be important to continue to work and to be faithful to our style of play.