Game: Colorado Avalanche @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Avalanche -110, Lightning -110
Two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay finds itself down 2-0 in this year’s finals. Game 1 was decided in overtime. Game 2 was decided much earlier as Colorado went off for seven goals in a 7-0 shutout victory. It was 3-0 in the first period and Tampa Bay didn’t put up much of a fight afterward. Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper recorded the shutout with just 16 saves.
The Avs moved closer to capturing their first Stanley Cup since 2001 with the Game 2 win. Cale Makar and Valeri Nichuskin each scored two goals and Mikko Rantanen had three assists. It was just the fifth time in franchise history that the Lightning allowed seven playoff goals in a single game. Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy, last year’s Conn Smythe trophy winner, gave up a postseason career-high of seven goals. He stopped 23 of 30 shots.
Still, Tampa Bay is the two-time defending champ for a reason. They are very resilient as they have proven over the past few seasons. The Lightning are 18-1 following their last 19 playoff losses. That record was a perfect 17-0 until Tampa Bay lost consecutive games to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals. Remember, the Lightning responded with four straight victories to earn a third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Colorado has incredible depth and it has shown in the first two games of the series. The Avs will likely continue to push the pace on the offensive end and control the majority of scoring chances. The Lightning will have to respond with the type of defense that is the reason why they are playing for another Stanley Cup.
The Lightning will most certainly benefit from playing at home. They have won seven of their last eight home playoff games and they are 10-4 SU in their last 14 overall. Tampa Bay is 34-9-6 at home this season and playing in front of the home crowd will be a welcome feeling for a team that has given up 11 goals so far.
Colorado is now 7-0 SU in its last seven games and 5-1 SU in its last six against Tampa Bay. Playing on the road has not fazed the Avs as they have won their last five away games in a row. One of the big concerns for Colorado is forward Andre Burakovsky. The Avs right winger scored the game-winner in overtime in Game 1 but left Game 2 with an undisclosed injury. He is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
Each of the first two games totaled seven goals and both went Over the total. That gives Colorado seven Overs in its last ten games. The Over is 4-1 in the last five Colorado games against the Lightning in Tampa Bay.
The Lightning trend Under though. The Under is 10-3 in Tampa Bay’s last 13 games and the Under is 5-0 in the Lightning’s last five home games.