While they didn’t win the Stanley Cup on Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche are now in firm control of the Stanley Cup Finals thanks to a thrilling overtime victory in Wednesday’s Game 4.

The Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning were tied at 2-2, having traded goals during regulation. At the 12:02 mark of the first overtime, Nazem Kadri fired a shot that appeared to beat Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, only nobody seemed too sure. None of the Avalanche players closest to the net, including Kadri, seemed to think the goal was scored at first. Then defenseman Bowen Byram skated in to argue that a goal had been scored. That triggered a reaction from his teammates on the ice.

The play was reviewed and eventually, Kadri’s shot was correctly ruled as the game-winning goal.

Those watching the game on had a big reaction to its thrilling ending.

The most relevant tweet came from the prize that Colorado is now one game away from claiming.

There’s some good news for Tampa. Despite the 3-1 deficit, this has been a tightly-contested series. Both the Avalanche and Lightning have a lopsided win but Colorado’s other two victories were both in overtime. So, Tampa isn’t that far from being tied 2-2 or even up 3-1. There’s also decent news in that, in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a 3-1 deficit has been overcome 31 times. Obviously the odds are not in the Lightning’s favor, but there’s a decent amount of history to draw from.

The bad news is that almost none of that history is in the Stanley Cup Finals. Only one time has a team overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the Stanley Cup Finals. That came in 1942, when the Toronto Maple Leafs overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings. Since then, series in which a team has led 3-1 have only even reached a Game 7 five times.

There’s some precedent for Tampa, but the Lightning will have to overcome a serious uphill battle to win their third straight Stanley Cup.

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.