Four years ago, Andre Burakovsky assisted on Lars Eller’s Game 5 game-winning goal to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Washington Capitals. On Wednesday, he played hero again, this time scoring in overtime to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.
Just 1:23 into overtime, Burakovsky got open in the offensive zone and wired a one-timer off a great feed from Val Nichushkin to lead the Avs to a 4-3 win over Tampa in Game 1. It marked Colorado’s first SCF win in Denver since 2001.
Here’s the goal that sealed the deal:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 16, 2022
“It feels amazing. I think we really battled through this whole game,” the Swede told Emily Kaplan postgame, adding, “I think we bounced back. Awesome job by the boys.”
The goal was Burakovsky’s second of the postseason, and he is now up to six points in 11 playoff games so far. He has dealt with a healthy scratch and an injury but impressed on the second line on Wednesday with a goal, a +/- of plus-1, three shots and a block through 12:34.
Burakovsky is the first player from the 2018 Capitals Stanley Cup-winning team to return to the Cup Final. This is also the second playoff series against Tampa where the 27-year-old has played hero and led the way to a win over Tampa. Back in 2018, Burakovsky struck twice in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final to send Washington to the Stanley Cup Final.
“This is dream since I was kid,” Burakovsky said to Kaplan.