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The Colorado Avalanche held the Tampa Bay Lightning to just four shots on goal in the third period of Stanley Cup Final game six on Sunday night, sealing a 2-1 victory to become Stanley Cup Champions for the first time since 2001. The Avs won the series four games to two after dropping a close-out game 3-2 in Denver on Friday.
Goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper notched 20 saves in game six. Nathan MacKinnon scored early in the second period to tie the game at 1-1 after the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos opened the scoring. Artturi Lehkonen netted what proved to be the winning goal 12:28 into the second period.
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Cale Makar, the Avs’ 23-year-old defenseman, took home the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. Per tradition, team captain Gabriel Landeskog hoisted and kissed the cup first just after 9 p.m. Mountain Time before handing it off to veteran Erik Johnson. “When the buzzer went, there was almost disbelief that we got the job done,” said head coach Jared Bednar after the game. “It’s been an amazing ride, and I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to be part of it with this team.”
The Colorado Avalanche were the winningest team in the National Hockey League in the regular season. The team swept two series in the postseason, versus the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers, before beating the Lightning, who were the two-time defending champions. The Avs went 16-3 overall in the postseason.