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Stanley Cup Final Notebook: Avalanche, Lightning Speak on Off Day

It was another off day in Denver for the Avalanche and Lightning, but both teams returned to the ice for the first time since Game 1. Here's what you need to know.

It was another off day in Denver for the Avalanche and Lightning, but both teams returned to the ice for the first time since Game 1.

Here's what you need to know:

- Nazem Kadri skated before Colorado's practice but did not take part in the full skate. After practice, Bednar said he doesn't have an update on Kadri's status ahead of Saturday.

- Andrew Cogliano skated with the full team in a regular practice jersey. Cogliano underwent finger surgery back on June 9 after the conclusion of the Western Conference final. Bednar said he wasn't sure if he would play in Game 2.

- Bednar shared a vote of confidence in goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who missed all but half of Game 1 of the Western Conference final: "I thought he did a nice job for us (in Game 1). The goals we gave up, we had major breakdowns in front of him. Could he have come up with one? Yeah, maybe. But considering he hadn't played since May 31st, I thought he did a really nice job. He looked sharp in practice and I have a lot of confidence in him."

-Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has played some of his best hockey in the second game of each playoff round. Bednar isn't worried about his team's ability to beat him: "We still have to focus on our game and what makes us better," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "If he's going to be better, we have to get more volume, more traffic to create the shots the way we want."

- Volume of shots was a consistent theme among the players that spoke. The Avalanche outshot Tampa 38-23, highlighted by a three-goal first period on 15 shots.

- Brayden Point skated on Tampa Bay's third line again with Nick Paul and Ross Colton. Coach Jon Cooper said on Thursday that he expects Point to get more ice time if he is feeling better."

- Point returned to the lineup in Game 1 after missing two rounds due to a leg injury suffered in the first-round series against Toronto. Point had 23 shifts in Game 1, registering 17:59 of ice time as he continues to get accumulated to playing pace again.

- Victor Hedman said the team focused on getting a better read and understanding of the opponent. The two teams met twice in the regular season, zero times in 2021 and twice during the 2019-20 campaign, so familiarity was a challenge. 

- Bednar said earlier this week that the Avs got a good read of the Lightning from watching their series' against Toronto and New York. The Avs had over a week between games after sweeping Edmonton, while Tampa Bay had four days.




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