Stanley Cup Final Game 2 Live Blog: Lightning vs. Avalanche

Welcome to the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 2 is underway with the Colorado Avalanche leading the best-of-7 series after a 4-3 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. Senior Director of Editorial Shawn P. Roarke is at the Ball Arena in Denver to cover all the sights, sounds and action from Game 2.

8:25 p.m. ET

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his players would have to weather a 10-minute storm to have a chance in Game 2.

Well, the challenge started almost immediately.

Valery Nikhushkin scored at 2:54 on the power play and deflected a nice pass home Andre Burakowski. Blogger Alex Newhook had the secondary assist.

Sixty-one seconds into the game, Lightning defender Ryan McDonagh took a penalty when the Avalanche pressed almost immediately.

Colorado also took first place in Game 1.

This place is going crazy.

Video: TBL@COL, Gm2: Nichushkin taps home on power play

8:10 p.m. ET

We’re just about ready for the puck drop in Game 2.

The atmosphere is electric. A good 20 minutes before the game started this place was packed and the crowd is ready to party.

They got absolutely bizonker when Bernie the St. Bernard, the mascot, took to the ice carrying a playoff flag. By the way, Bernie is a top 5 mascot in the NHL. Few, if any, are cooler than him circling the ice at top speed.

They got even louder during the pre-game videos, booing loudly when the umpires appeared on the ice and deafening when the scoreboard told them they were home advantage and during the introduction of the Game 2 starters.

It’s so loud in here, it’s hard to think. I hope this is not reflected in my copy.

Let’s play hockey!

7:55 p.m. ET

The teams are on the ice to warm up and this place is already a crazy house, fans waving their white pompoms and screaming. The pompoms are everywhere, by the way, even the bomb-sniffing dog at the media entrance to the arena stuffed one into his vest. I have to support this team.

Forward Andrew Cogliano is back in the lineup for the Avalanche. He had not played since injuring his hand in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers but only missed Game 1 of the Finals.

Cogliano, who will probably play along on one line Nico Storm and Alex Newhook, has three points (two goals, one assist) in 11 playoff games this season. He replaces Nicolas Aube Kubel.

Forward Nazem KadriThe one injured in Game 3 against the Oilers is out despite being on the ice for several days.

The Lightning went with the same lineup as in Game 1, and their trainer Jon Cooper said he expects it Brayden point to be much better in game 2. He returned in Game 1 after suffering a lower body injury on May 14 during the first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tampa Bay is 19-1 after losing in the playoffs the last three seasons.

7:40 p.m. ET

Excitement is high for Game 2 here in Denver, with downtown fans in various Avalanche sweaters partying in LoDo ahead of time. Not even a lightning storm, hopefully dropping the muggy temperatures a few degrees, could keep fans from gathering in large numbers across the street at Tivoli for a DJ Griz pregame concert.

Fans are thrilled to see their local heroes try to take a 2-0 lead in the series, although we saw several Lightning jerseys off our bus on the way to the arena.

Teams with a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 hold a streak record of 341-54 (.863), including 47-5 (.904) in the Stanley Cup Finals. In 2022, the teams are tied 4-2 after winning the first two games. The Lightning rallied to defeat the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games, and the Rangers did so in the second round against the Hurricanes in seven games.

Thank you for joining us for a wild ride. We’ll be back shortly with lineup news from the pregame skate.

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