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The Tampa bay Lightning find themselves down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche have been good, led by Cale Makar, who has 5 points in the 4 games so far, but not as dominant as the 3-1 series line makes it seem. Game 1 and Game 4 both went into overtime, both seeing the Avalanche come out on top. The back to back Stanley Cup champions now face and incredibly difficult challenge, a 3 game comeback.
A comeback from 3-1 down in the Stanley Cup finals has only been achieved ONCE in NHL history, back in 1942 when the Toronto Maple Leafs came back against the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup. If there is a team that can do it, it is certainly this Tampa Bay squad, who’s core are now in their third Stanley Cup final in a row, winning the previous two, its a team you can’t count out until its over.
There have been 5 times in NHL History where a team has come back from a 3-1 deficit to force a game 7 in the Stanley Cup final, but then lost. This includes the 1945 Red Wings, the 1954 Canadiens, the 1987 Flyers, the 1994 Canucks, and the 2006 Edmonton Oilers. A game 7 comeback and then loss has happened 32 times in NHL Playoffs history when looking at comebacks.
3-1 Comebacks are not uncommon in the playoffs however, it has happened 31 times in NHL playoffs history, with the most recent time happening this year, with the New York Rangers coming back against the Pittsburgh Penguins after being down 3-1. The Montreal Canadiens also did it last year against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
What do the Lightning need in order to make this comeback? Andrei Vasilevskiy has to steal a game, and he needs to do it now. Vasilevskiy is a huge reason why the Lightning have been able to achieve what they have, and his record when facing elimination is one of the best we have seen. The Colorado Avalanche are a fast, high shooting team, they WILL get shots on goal one way or another, having 30+ shots every game this series. The Tampa Bay powerplay and stars have to be better, Stamkos has 1 goal, Kucherov has 0, and unfortunately the other star, Braydon Point has been dealing with a major injury and has been out of the line up. They have been getting depth scoring from the likes of Nicholas Paul, and Anthony Cirelli, who has stepped his game up big time filling in on the second line for the injured Point.