Darcy Kuemper gives up two softies, Avs blow awesome opportunity
The Colorado Avalanche had a chance to win the Stanley Cup in Denver on a Friday night against the back-to-back champs, instead, the series is headed back to Tampa for Game 6.
The Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the little hearts of Colorado, winning Game 5 3-2.
It was never going to be easy against the Bolts, but the Avs blew a chance to clinch their first playoff series in Denver since 2008.
Colorado never led in the game, trailing 1-0, 2-1 and then 3-2.
“It was a lot of penalties early in the game for us, and it takes a little bit longer for the guys to get going,” Head Coach Jared Bednar said. “We had a couple of breakdowns that led to scoring chances.”
Tampa’s second goal came on a 4-on-3 powerplay that Avs players said was the turning point.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Gabriel Landeskog said of the refs. “That’s something they can continue to do, but we’re not doing that.”
Still, Colorado out-shot Tampa 35 to 26, with 2.52 expected goals to the Bolts’ 2.15. Two of Tampa’s goals were soft while both of Colorado’s were greasy. Darcy Kuemper struggled in the game but so too did other Avs’ stars.
“He was OK. I’d like to see him get the first one, obviously,” Bednar said of Kuemper.
Game 6 is in Tampa on Sunday, the Avs will have two more chances to close out the champs.