Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 preview: Colorado Look to Wrap It on the Road

Third-Straight Title Dream Not Over Yet for Resilient Bolts

Tampa Bay Hoping to Extend Stanley Cup Finals to Seven

Nine of the last 10 Stanley Cup Finals ended in either five or six games. The Tampa Bay Lightning have made it a habit of defying the odds, so they would love to accomplish that once again. The Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 preview is all about the Lightning staving off elimination once again to keep their hopes for a third straight title alive.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, who hasn’t played nearly as well on the road in the postseason as he has at home, stopped 35 of 37 shots. Meanwhile, Ondrej Palat added to his franchise record with his 12th game-winning goal in the playoffs, as Tampa Bay topped Colorado 3-2 to send the NHL championship series back to Tampa.

Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper is 1-1 with a 4.07 goals-against average and a save percentage of .885 in two games at Tampa Bay in the series. Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is 1-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a .934 save percentage at home in the series.

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay’s top goal-scorer during the 2020 and 2021 runs to the Stanley Cup title, missed his second game in a row while Andre Burakovsky, one of two Colorado players who previously played on a Stanley Cup team, missed the contest for the Avalanche.

Colorado is 3-2 in elimination games in this year’s playoffs with four of those five games decided by one goal. Tampa Bay is 3-0 in those contents. The Lightning survived two elimination games in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto, winning Game 6 in overtime by a 4-3 score and taking Game 7 with a 2-1 win.

Tampa Bay has outscored its opponents 37-21 to put up an 8-2 record at home in the playoffs. Colorado is 8-1 on the road and averages 4.56 goals per game.

According to the odds to win the Stanley Cup, the series price for the favored Avalanche has moved from -1400 to -420 after the Bolts’ Game 4 win. Buy back on Tampa Bay went from +800 to +340.

On Sunday, oddsmakers give the slight edge to the Avs as a -115 favorite to hoist the Cup. The total is set at six and juiced to the under at -125.

Avalanche vs Lightning Game Information

  • Game: Avalanche (71-23-7); Lightning (65-31-8)
  • Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Television: ABC

Avalanche Get Another Chance to End Title Drought

With the last NHL title coming all the way back in 2001, what is another couple of days for the Colorado Avalanche’s coronation. The Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 preview is all about Colorado trying to finish things off against the team holding the last two titles.

While skating around the ice with Lord Stanley’s cup held above your head must be a wonderful experience at home, there can also be some joy in accomplishing the feat in front of the opposing team’s fanbase. After failing to close things out at home in Game 5, Colorado gets the opportunity to win the series and the championship in Tampa Bay in Game 6 on Sunday night.

Colorado had more shots and hits in Game 5. However, it could not seal the deal as a goal by Palat with 6:22 left in the third period lifted the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory.

Colorado has played incredibly well on the road throughout the playoffs with an 8-1 record and a stunning 44% success rate on the power play.

Cale Makar, who recently won his first Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, leads all players with 14 assists and 16 points on the road during this year’s postseason. Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog each have 10 points each while Nazem Kadri has six goals and nine points in seven road contests. He also has a defensive rating of +8.

Kadri has yet to take a faceoff in the two games since he returned from a thumb injury that required surgery. He led the Avalanche in faceoffs taken and won during the regular season. His absence there was noticeable as Colorado was -6 in that department in Game 5.

No June Swoon for Lightning’s Ondrej Palat

The list of the all-time leaders in game-winning goals includes some familiar names with Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull sharing the top spot. Mike Bossy, Maurice Richard and Jaromir Jagr are others who showed the ability to deliver in the clutch time after time.

Nobody expected the name of Ondrej Palat to be included in that list when he was the 119th forward selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. However, when looking at the Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 preview, Palat emerges as one of the key figures.

Palat has more points in the playoffs (93) than all but 30 of the forwards taken ahead of him have registered in the regular season. Palat is at his best when the game is on the line. In the Tampa Bay Lightning stats, Palat moved ahead of team captain Steven Stamkos for the team lead with 11 goals this postseason.

Palat has scored 11 goals in the 2022 playoffs, with five of them putting Tampa Bay in front and another tying the game. Seven of his goals have come in the third period — the most of any player — with three of those being game-winners. He scored with 42 seconds left in the third period in Game 3 against the New York Rangers, did the same thing with 1:50 to play in Game 5, and then snapped a 2-2 tie with 6:22 remaining in Friday’s game.

His 12th game-winning postseason goal ranks first in Tampa Bay franchise history and ties him for 27th in NHL playoff history. Bryan Trottier, Steve Yzerman and Phil Esposito are among the players with whom he is tied. Palat leads Tampa Bay with three goals in the Stanley Cup Finals series. He has eight goals and six assists in 22 career games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Avalanche vs Lightning Betting Analysis

One Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 preview trend that’s hard to overlook is the fact there have been less than six combined power-play opportunities in the three games won by Colorado. The number jumps to eight in the two wins by Tampa Bay.

The team with more power-play goals emerged victorious in four of the first five games in the series, so that could play a key role once again in Game 6. Colorado has been the more efficient of the teams with the man advantage, with 6 goals in 15 opportunities compared to Tampa Bay going 2 for 18.

Colorado hasn’t lost consecutive games to Tampa Bay since 2018.

Six of the last eight games between the teams have been decided by one goal with Colorado winning four of those games. Colorado has won three of its last four games played in Tampa including a 3-2 win in Game 4 of this series.

Seven of eight games in the series had at least seven combined goals before the last two contests each finished with 3-2 final scores.

Not only is Palat the top goal-scorer for Tampa Bay, but the leader in that department for Colorado is Dallas Wings castoff Valeri NIchushkin who has four goals in the Stanley Cup Finals.

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