Welcome back, Nazem Kadri.
The Colorado Avalanche center returned from a thumb injury for the first time since June 4, only to score the dramatic winning goal in overtime of Wednesday's Game 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
There was some confusion after Kadri beat Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to give his team the 3-2 victory, but it was a good goal. His team is ahead 3-1 in the series and one win away from its first Stanley Cup title since the 2000-01 campaign.
Kadri and the Avalanche naturally earned plenty of praise for the performance:
Julie Stewart-Binks @JSB_TV
Nazem Kadri. Writing a new chapter of his playoff history. Absolutely incredible. Entire arena is stunned. <br><br>Avs are one win away from the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Avalanche?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Avalanche</a>
The center was the hero, but it was far from a solo effort. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper was largely brilliant while stopping 37 of 39 shots in an impressive bounce-back performance after he was pulled in the Game 3 loss.
It didn't look like Kuemper was going to star when he allowed a goal to Anthony Cirelli 36 seconds into Wednesday's contest, but he was the best player on the ice for the Avalanche for the rest of the opening period as Tampa Bay outshot the visitors 17-4.
Surviving the initial onslaught proved key because Nathan MacKinnon's second-period goal tied it up, as did Andrew Cogliano's third-period goal after Victor Hedman temporarily put the Lightning ahead with a backhand goal.
With Kadri back in the rotation and scoring monumental goals to MacKinnon and Cale Makar working their usual magic to Kuemper playing like a top-notch goaltender, the momentum is firmly on the Avalanche's side again.
They will look to close out the series at home in Friday's Game 5.