Lightning's Jon Cooper Says 'the Right Team Won' After Game 1 Loss vs. Avalanche

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 16, 2022

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper speaks during an NHL hockey media day before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters that "the right team won tonight" after the host Colorado Avalanche earned a 4-3 overtime win over the Bolts in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.

Colorado outshot Tampa Bay 38-23 and held a 3-1 first-period lead after Artturi Lehkonen's power-play goal at the 17:31 mark. However, Tampa Bay struck back with two second-period goals to tie the game at three.

Neither team scored in the third, but overtime lasted just 1:23 after Andre Burakovsky put home the game-winner.

Despite the tough loss, the head coach of the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions took away some positives.

Joe Smith @JoeSmithTB

Jon Cooper said there were some positive signs in game. They weren’t themselves “by a country mile” and still had chance at end. Felt “we dipped our toes in the water” in first 10 minutes

To their credit, the Lightning got up from the mat after a rough opening 20 minutes and looked far better from that point forward. That's something Tampa Bay can take away as it looks to bounce back in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday in Colorado.