Found a way.
The Colorado Avalanche dethroned the two-time defending champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 to become the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions on Sunday night at Amalie Arena.

Nathan MacKinnon paced the Avalanche to victory with two points (1G, 1A), while Artturi Lehkonen sealed the victory with his fourth game-winning goal of the postseason. Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves on 23 shots in the championship victory. With 29 points (8G, 21A) in 20 postseason games, Cale Makar was named the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, awarded annually to the annually to the most valuable player.
For Tampa Bay, Steven Stamkos scored the lone goal, while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves on 30 shots.


The Avalanche found a way.
Despite going down 1-0 after the first period and having failed to close out the Lightning in Game 5, the team didn't shy away from the challenge, the group embraced it. The unwavering belief and commitment to the process has been a staple of the team all season long and carried over into their outstanding and championship-winning postseason.
The group showed resolve and resilience one final time en route to their third Stanley Cup victory in franchise history as they completed the comeback and dethroned the two-time defending champions. The comeback was no small feat, but embodied the character and determination of a group as they tied the NHL record for most comeback wins in a postseason run with the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins with 10.
Early into the game, the Avalanche were under siege as they dug themselves into a 1-0 deficit 3:48 into the game with a strike from Stamkos.
Just 23 seconds into the game, Cale Makar was whistled for interference. Colorado's penalty kill came up with another tremendous effort - featuring a huge block by Andrew Cogliano as he laid out to deny a Mikhail Sergachev point shot - to hold off the Tampa Bay power play.
But the Bolts generated momentum off the power play and capitalized shortly after on a strong forecheck. A combined defensive effort from
Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat allowed the effort to strip Makar of the puck near the net front and play Stamkos all alone where the Bolts captain tucked the puck through Kuemper's pads for the game's icebreaker.
Colorado regained some life - after being outshot 7-2 through the first half of the frame - later in the period and nearly capitalized with 4:30 on the clock. Mikko Rantanen made a stellar effort while falling to center the puck to the net front for his fellow Finn Artturi Lehkonen. But Lehkonen's attempt struck iron past Vasilevskiy.

COL@TBL, Gm6: MacKinnon finishes Byram feed for goal

Down by a goal and after a slow first-period effort, the Avalanche needed a response.
They did just that.
Colorado rewrote the script in the second period and rallied from its 1-0 slump with a two-goal showing and 13-9 shot advantage. MacKinnon led the charge as he netted the equalizer at 1:54 and earned the primary assist in Lehkonen's goal to provide the Avs with their first lead of the game.
On a high-to-low zone cycle, Bowen Byram zipped the puck out to the goal line below the right faceoff circle to MacKinnon. The Avalanche centerman snapped his sharp-angle shot past Vasilevskiy for the equalizer and his team-leading - and tied with Edmonton's Evander Kane for the most among all skaters in the league - 13th goal of the postseason.
Colorado continued to play with some jump as the score was tied up 1-1. They capitalized on Lehkonen's go-ahead goal at 12:28 on a transition play. The three-on-two rush unfolded with Josh Manson carrying the puck into Tampa Bay's zone and dishing it off to MacKinnon, where his initial attempt to return the puck back to Manson was denied by Ryan McDonagh. The puck took a fortunate redirect off the skate of the Bolts defenseman and popped out to Lehkonen at the inside of the left circle. Lehkonen roofed his one timer to the far side and over Vasilevskiy's glove to give Colorado the 2-1 lead.

COL@TBL, Gm6: Lehkonen whips puck past Vasilveskiy

With 20 minutes left of play and just a goal separating the Avalanche from the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup, the group locked it down. Colorado's stifling play dominated possession and held the Bolts without a shot through 10 minutes of play.
With 6:32 left on the clock, Kuemper came up with a clutch stop on a Nikita Kucherov one timer as Palat threaded a pass to the backdoor and the Russian winger unleashed his signature one timer, but was denied.
Even as the Bolts pulled Vasilevskiy in exchange for the extra skater in the waning couple of minutes, the Avalanche held on and became champions as they brought the Stanley Cup back to Denver for the first time in 21 years and hoisted the coveted - and hardest to win - trophy.

COL@TBL, Gm6: Colorado players skate with Stanley Cup

  • MacKinnon scored his team-leading 13th goal of the postseason.
  • Lehkonen scored his eighth goal of the playoffs and team-best and league leading fourth game-winning goal of the postseason.
  • Colorado finished the game 0-for-1 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
  • Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Andre Burakovsky, Ryan Murray, Kurtis MacDermid, Justus Annunen, and Samuel Girard (upper body) were scratches for Colorado.