Kadri returns, scores game winner for Avalanche

by 24USATVJune 23, 2022, 5:01 a.m. 16
-

Nazem Kadri scores midway through the first overtime period to give the Avalanche the Game 4 win against the Lightning. (0:58)

TAMPA, Fla. -- In his series debut, Nazem Kadri scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche outlasted the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday.

The Avalanche now lead the series, 3-1, and can win their first title since 2001 on Friday night in Game 5 at home.

Kadri had missed four straight games, dating back to the last series, since suffering a broken thumb June 4. He wore a regular burgundy sweater and participated in drills with the Avalanche's second power-play unit in Wednesday morning skate, and took a normal shift on the second line all game.

The goal was his seventh of the postseason and ended a night in which he had 25 shifts and 18:39 time on the ice.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar was hopeful on Wednesday morning about Kadri's participation, but he did not reveal his official return at any point.

"He's getting better every day," Bednar said, when asked if Kadri would play. "If he can do all the functions that it takes to play a hockey game and is feeling comfortable with it, he's a guy we'll put back in. He's been skating, legs feel good. It's just about managing, I guess, the pain he's dealing with."

On the other end of the ice, Darcy Kuemper was back in the starter's net for the Avalanche after being pulled from Game 3. Colorado's incumbent netminder allowed five goals on 22 shots before getting the hook and being replaced by Pavel Francouz. But in Game 4, he was sharp, allowing just two goals on 40 Tampa Bay shots.

"Same with the rest of our team; I feel like he's done a nice job with that," Bednar said before the game. "He's followed up good performances with better performances. He's elevated his game when we've needed him to this year. He's done it all season long."

Kadri was boarded by Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals and underwent surgery June 6 to repair the damage to his thumb. The veteran resumed skating on his own shortly after and began shooting again this week.

When Kadri traveled to Tampa with the team Sunday, Bednar said he was "not sure" if the 31-year-old would be ready for Game 3 or 4. The fact that Kadri came along suggested it was a possibility.

The Avalanche weren't at complete health in Game 4, however, as they skated without Andre Burakovsky up front. The big winger suffered an apparent hand injury in Game 2 of the Final and did not make the trip to Tampa. Burakovsky had stepped in to fill Kadri's void in Colorado's top six and scored twice against the Lightning before the injury.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Payton to join Blazers; 3-year deal, sources say

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 8 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Reports: Bobby Portis agrees to 4-year deal with Bucks

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 7:20 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade Passes Away from Cancer

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 6 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Sources: Mavs land C McGee for 3 years, $20.1M

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 5 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Puma Gets Progressive with Its First Woman-Specific Running Shoe

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 5 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Lakers reach deals with Walker, Jones, 2 others

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kevin Durant Asks to Be Traded From the Nets

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

C. Ortiz sets early pace at LIV's first U.S. event

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 4 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Pope Francis Misses Meeting With Jewish Delegation Due to Knee Pain

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

LIV Golf: What happened in the first round at Portland

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Report: Lakers to sign Lonnie Walker IV to 1-year deal

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Amigos de Fernando del Solar reaccionan tras su muerte

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

UCLA, USC confirm move to Big Ten beginning with 2024-25 season

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 2:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Damian Jones leaves Kings for Lakers in NBA free agency

by 24USATVJuly 1, 2022, 1:01 a.m.2