TAMPA, Fla. — You had to know the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions were going to respond, but the question was how?
The response was simple -- in a big way.
Just two nights after suffering their biggest blowout loss this postseason, the Tampa Bay Lightning returned the favor Monday night with a dominant 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3.
Tampa Bay chips away at its Stanley Cup Final deficit, now trailing Colorado just to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
It was a much-needed response for the Lightning, who were playing in front of their home crowd at Amalie Arena for the first time this series. It also is the first postseason road defeat for the Avalanche, who came into the game with a 7-0 record in playoff games away from Ball Arena.
Much like Colorado in Game 2, Tampa Bay spread the wealth among six different goal scorers. Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Pat Maroon all had a goal and an assist.
Colorado captain Gabe Landeskog scored both of his team's goals on the power play, and both were assisted by Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen.
CHANGE IN NET
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar pulled starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper after he gave up five goals on 22 shots faced (77.3 save percentage).
Kuemper was replaced with backup Pavel Francouz, who had stepped up in previous series to help carry the load.
Francouz finished the night with nine saves, allowing one goal on the 10 shots he faced.
Colorado will look to bounce back in Game 4, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT) at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.
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