Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals did not disappoint. With a total of seven goals scored and one period of overtime, it had everything a fan could want in the opening game of the finals. Andrei Vasilevskiy had a rough start to the game, giving up three goals in the first period. Vasilevskiy and the rest of the Lightning managed to tighten things up by scoring two goals in 48 seconds in the second period, being enough to force overtime. The Avalanche coughed up two 2 goal leads, but never trailed in this matchup, and still managed to steal a win in overtime from a goal by Andre Burakovsky 1:23 into the period.
Game 1 went basically how I thought it was going to go. The Av's scored 3 goals in the first period and peppered Vasilevskiy with shots all night, hitting him with 38. They came out fast and it looked as though they didn't have to knock off any rust, as they picked up right where they left off as one of the league's most explosive offenses.
The good news for Lightning fans is, they don't lose back-to-back games very often, especially Vasilevskiy. Even the greats can struggle sometimes, and although Vasilevskiy almost seemly never does, he did go up against one of NHL's most potent offenses coming off 9 days of rest.
(Photo Credit: @NHL on Twitter)
It is hard to determine how a series will play out after just one game. The first game is sometimes a throw away game, with both teams just getting to know each other because they didn't see much of one another during the regular season. Game Two is where you will most likely see significant adjustments on both sides.
The Lightning actually did play a decent game if you exclude that first period. They managed to keep it within winning distance throughout the rest of the game. It was a back and forth fight the remaining two periods. One major thing the Lightning definitely need to improve on is their takeaways. The Lightning had 17 takeaways while the Av's had 4. That is simply unacceptable from a playoff experienced team like the Lightning.
It is especially disheartening when you are giving all those chances to THIS team in the Avalanche, who are not the team you want to be giving extra chances to. Otherwise, every game is going to be like Game 1 where they will have to play from behind. If the Lightning wants to tie this series up, they need to take better care of the puck.
Let's see what Saturday's edition of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals has in store for us.