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Sports

Lightning are on the brink of Stanley Cup elimination after a 3-2 OT loss to the Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) shoots the puck past Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy
John Bazemore
/
AP
Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) shoots the puck past Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) for a goal during overtime of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Tampa.

Nazem Kadri scored the game-winner as the Avalanche return to Denver on Friday night with a chance to dethrone the two-time Stanley Cup champions. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said there may have been too many players on the ice.

Nazem Kadri scored at 12:02 of overtime — perhaps with too many Colorado players on the ice — and the Avalanche beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to move within a victory of dethroning the two-time defending champion Lightning.

Playing for the first time since June 4 due to a thumb injury, Kadri skated in on Andrei Vasilevskiy and slipped a shot under the goaltender’s right arm.

The Avalanche came back from a 2-1 deficit, and Kadri's game-winner gave the Avalanch a 3-1 series lead.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper took one question during his postgame media session. Without getting into specifics about whether Colorado had too many men on the ice, he suggested the Avalanche’s overtime goal shouldn’t have counted.

Said Cooper: “This one is going to sting much more than others. It’s hard for me. It’s going to be hard for me to speak. I’m going to have to speak. I’ll speak with you tomorrow. You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal."

The Avalanche can clinch the series Friday night in Denver.

If the Lightning win, Game 6 will be in Tampa on Sunday.

STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE:

Game 1: Colorado 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Game 2: Colorado 7, Tampa Bay 0
Game 3: Tampa Bay 6, Colorado 2
Game 4: Colorado 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
Game 5: Friday at Colorado, 8
*-Game 6: June 26 at Tampa, 8
*-Game 7: June 28 at Colorado, 8