Lightning vs Avalanche Game 1: Avalanche Favored in Stanley Cup Final
Lightning Could Get Brayden Point Back for Stanley Cup Final
Colorado Looking to Jump on Lightning Out of the Gate
If there has been one constant through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it has been that the favored Colorado Avalanche opened each of the previous three series with victories. Colorado will look to keep that trend going in this Lightning vs Avalanche game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, 2022.
It will be worth keeping an eye on who suits up in the opener. Brayden Point missed all of the last two series for the Lightning after suffering a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first-round series against Toronto. He is back skating and could be returning to the lineup. The Avalanche hopes to have some reinforcements of their own. Despite a recent thumb surgery, Nazem Kadri could also be back for this series as could Andrew Cogliano.
The betting odds have a total of 6 goals in Game 1. That indicates the belief that Tampa Bay could get the pace of play it is looking for. As talented as the Lightning might be, they want to avoid playing a style similar to what the Edmonton Oilers did when they traded scoring chances with the Avalanche.
According to the odds to win the Stanley Cup, the series price favors the Avalanche at -175 while Tampa Bay is +155 to win a third straight championship.
Lightning vs Avalanche Game Information
- Game: Lightning (51-23-8 in the regular season) Avalanche (56-19-7).
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Television: ABC
Lightning Hoping for 3-Peat
Never underestimate a team with a championship pedigree, especially going into the NHL finals. Tampa Bay fell behind Toronto 3-2 in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and needed to win Game 7 in Toronto just to survive and advance. After a stunning sweep of Florida, the Lightning dropped the first two games and trailed 2–0 in Game 3 against the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay promptly rallied to win that game and the next three contests to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the third season in a row. The last team to accomplish that feat are the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s.
Speaking of history, if the underdog Lightning wins this series, it would mark the first time a team has won three straight Stanley Cup titles since the New York Islanders teams of the early 1980s. The first step comes in Game 1 of the Lightning vs Avalanche series.
Starting on the road should not be too daunting after already winning a Game 7 on the road, sweeping both games away from home against a Florida team that had the best home record in the NHL during the regular season. More recently, Tampa Bay snapped the New York Rangers’ eight-game home winning streak in the postseason en route to winning the Eastern Conference Final in six games.
Tampa Bay is 5-4 on the road in the playoffs and has been outscored 25-23 in those games; however, all it takes is one win in Colorado for the home-ice advantage to shift to the Lightning.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has allowed one goal in four of Tampa Bay’s last six road games in the playoffs. The Lightning is 4-0 on the road when he allows one goal and 1-4 when he surrenders more than one goal.
Well-Rested Av’s open Stanley Cup Finals at Home
Thanks to dispatching the Edmonton Oilers in four games, the Colorado Avalanche had more than a week to rest and prepare for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 2001. Colorado (-165) is favored in Game 1 of the Lightning vs Avalanche series.
The good news is it allowed the Colorado players to recover after three playoff series. If there is a concern, perhaps it is whether the Avalanche had too much time off. Tampa Bay had to play its way into this series by winning four games in a row after dropping the first two games to the New York Rangers.
Colorado will be the fresher team, but will they be the team that finds its rhythm first? When Colorado swept Nashville in the first round of the playoffs, they had more than a week off and needed overtime to edge the St. Louis Blues in the opening game of that series.
The Avalanche ranks third in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an average of 4.1 goals per game at home. The power play has been so, so, at home, converting 23 percent of the time.
While the quartet of defenseman Cale Makar and forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen are the headliners, Artturi Lehkonen, Valeri Nichushkin, and J.T. Compher have combined for 16 goals and 14 assists in 14 postseason games to give the Avalanche some scoring depth throughout the lineup.
Lightning vs Avalanche Betting Analysis
Five of the last seven games between the teams have been decided by one goal and that included both games during the 2021-22 regular season.
Four of the last five games featured at least seven goals scored.
Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games played in Colorado as the visiting team has won five of the last seven matchups between the teams.
The Lightning has the most power-play opportunities in the playoffs. Colorado has matched Tampa Bay’s total of 14 power-play goals with 17 fewer chances with the man advantage. If this series comes down to special teams, that could favor Colorado.
Both teams are under .500 in faceoffs during the playoffs so something will have to give in that department. Colorado is seventh and Tampa Bay is ninth in hits per 60 minutes. With so much at stake and both teams featuring elite offensive players, the hit totals could very well increase in the series.Follow us on Twitter