Lightning rebounded, beat Avalanche 6-2 in Game 3

Tampa, Fla. — Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat each had a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Chargers scored four times in the second quarter and clinched Game 3 of the Stanley Cup on Monday night In the final with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Anthony Cirelli, Nicolas Paul and Corey Perry also scored to help the two-time defending champion Chargers bounce back after a poor performance on the road after losing their first two games. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 37 stops.

Stamkos, Paul, Maroon and Perry scored in the second quarter as the Chargers cut their series deficit to 2-1 while chasing Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper.

Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for Avalanche. Kuemper conceded five of his 22 shots before being replaced by Pavel Francouz, who made nine saves.

Game 4 was on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena as the Chargers won a franchise-record eight straight playoff games while Colorado lost on the road for the first time in the postseason.

Two nights after being limited to 16 shots in a 7-0 loss to Denver, the Chargers finally found a way to offset Colorado’s speed and tackle Kuemper to avoid falling to the brink of elimination to bounce back.

When Maroon scored a soft ball to put the Chargers up 5-2 with 8:45 left in the second quarter, the Avalanche raised their goalie. With 5:02 left in the quarter, Perry made it 6-2 with a rebound that fell off the right post behind Francois.

The back-to-back champions fell 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals, knocking out the New York Rangers in six games. They hope to play Colorado again to complete their quest for the NHL’s first three-peat in nearly 40 years.

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