2022 Stanley Cup Final: Game 1 of Avalanche-Lightning gave us everything we could have wanted

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a rollicking start, with Colorado jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first period, Tampa Bay tying it in the second, and the Avalanche prevailing 4-3 in overtime.

What did we learn in Game 1 and how will it impact the rest of the series? We asked hockey reporters Kristen Shilton and Greg Wyshynski for their biggest takeaways from the Avs' opening-game victory.

If Game 1 is any indication, this Stanley Cup Final could be one for the books.

Colorado dominated the first period. Tampa Bay took over in the second. By the third, the teams were knotted 3-3, and it seemed only fitting for the game to reach overtime.

When Andre Burakovsky scored a great goal for Colorado, it was almost disappointing to see the evening end. The back-and-forth could have gone on forever.

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn't at his best to start for Tampa Bay, giving up three goals on 15 shots in the first period, but he bounced back to play like the Vezina Trophy winner the Lightning have relied on in their championship run. Count on him to have a more complete performance in Game 2.

Colorado's resilience continued to shine through. The Avalanche haven't become rattled by any ups and downs in the playoffs, and Wednesday night was no exception.

Blowing a two-goal lead to the two-time Cup champs might have gotten into a lesser team's head. Not Colorado. Its entire success in these playoffs has been about staying true to themselves. There was no panic. The Avalanche's depth came through again.

Losing a Game 1 isn't exactly a faith-shattering development for the Lightning. On the contrary, it's downright commonplace in their journey toward a three-peat.

In 11 playoff series since 2020, the Lightning have lost the opening game five times. That includes two of three series in this postseason: The Lightning dropped opening games to the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers by a combined score of 11-2. Each time, they've rallied to win the series.

"I think that's the great thing about our group: There aren't many situations that we haven't been in," winger Alex Killorn said. "It feels like we've seen it all. We're not worried. We're confident going forward. But there's definitely a lot more work to be done."