Cale Makar (R) and the Avalanche celebrate a goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Jun 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game two of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have gotten off to a dominant start in the Stanley Cup Final, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime in Game 1 Wednesday and then 7-0 in Game 2 Saturday. Saturday’s scoreline was particularly remarkable, as it saw the Avalanche become just the third team ever to post a shutout by seven goals or more in the Stanley Cup Final, and also the third team ever to score three or more goals in the first period of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. Here’s more on the history there from Dan Rosen of

Colorado became the third team in NHL history to score three or more goals in the first period in each of the first two games of a Stanley Cup Final, joining the 1981 New York Islanders and 1936 Detroit Red Wings.

…The Avalanche became the third team in NHL history to have a shutout in the Stanley Cup Final by a margin of seven or more goals (Seattle Metropolitans, 7-0 in Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens in 1919; Pittsburgh Penguins, 8-0 in Game 6 against the Minnesota North Stars in 1991).

Those are both remarkable accomplishments, as illustrated by how infrequently they’ve happened. It’s quite something that the only other Stanley Cup Final shutouts by seven goals or more came 21 and 103 years ago respectively.

For the record, the Avalanche got two goals each from Cale Makar (seen at right above, he became the second defenseman in Stanley Cup Final history to score a power-play goal and a short-handed goal in the same game, following only Glen Wesley with the Boston Bruins in 1986) and Valeri Nichushkin, plus singles from Josh Manson, André Burakovsky, and Darren Helm. The Penguins’ Cup-clinching Game 6 win in 1991 saw two goals from Joe Mullen and singletons from Ulf Samuelsson, Mario Lemieux, Bob Errey, Ron Francis, Jim Paek, and Larry Murphy, while the Metropolitans’ Game 1 win in 1919 (in a series eventually cancelled after five games thanks to the flu pandemic) saw three goals from Frank Foyston, two from Muzz Murray, and individual tallies from Jack Walker and Ran McDonald.

It’s also interesting to look back at those other two teams that got off to such hot first-period starts in Games 1 and 2. The 1936 Red Wings would go on to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history (and their first of two straight), losing Game 3 4-3 in overtime but winning Game 4 (and clinching the series, a best-of-five at that time) 3-2. The 1981 Islanders also won Game 3, but lost Game 4 before clinching that series (and their second of four straight Cups) in Game 5. We’ll see if the Avalanche can follow those teams to Stanley Cup victory, or if the Lightning can mount a comeback to claim their third-straight title. Game 3 is Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

[; image from Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.