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Thursday Postseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Andre Burakovsky one-timed a pass from Valeri Nichuskin home 1:23 into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Ball Arena in Denver.

The puck to came to Nichuskin after J.T. Compher had his shot blocked by Victor Hedman after a turnover by Mikhail Sergachev and he found Burakovsky in the top of the right circle for the winner.

Goals from captain Gabriel Landeskog and Nichuskin 1:36 apart gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead midway through the first period before Nick Paul got the Bolts on the board at the 12:26 mark.

Artturi Lehkonen scored a power-play goal at 17:31 with the assists going to Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, his second of the period, to restore Colorado’s two-goal lead.

Tampa Bay pushed back in the second, getting goals from Ondrej Palat at 12:51 and the aforementioned Sergachev 48 seconds later to forge a 3-3 tie.

Darcy Kuemper, seeing action for the first time since May 31, made 20 saves to backstop Colorado to the win.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, who wasn’t sharp in the first, finished with 34 saves on 38 shots.

Brayden Point, returning after a ten-game absence, had an assist and logged 17:59 TOI for Tampa Bay.

The teams will get two days of rest before Game 2 on Saturday night.

For more on the Avalanche’s exciting Game 1 win visit Mile High Hockey and Raw Charge.