Are Lightning and Avalanche set for Another One-Goal affair?
Considering that both games in the regular season between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche were decided by one goal; could there be any other outcome in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals than a contest requiring overtime? Now it is time to look ahead to Game 2 in the Lightning vs Avalanche Game 2.
André Burakovsky, one of four Colorado players with previous Stanley Cup experience, won it early in overtime.
Colorado improved to 4-1 in overtime games in this year’s playoffs and is 5-1 in contests decided by a goal. Tampa Bay is now 5-3 in one-goal games.
When playing back-to-back games on the road in this year’s playoffs, Tampa Bay was 1-2 in the first three series and the Lightning was outscored 12-6. In the second game, they were 2-1 and outscored their opponents 9-7. Colorado is 4-0 in the opening games of the series this year. In the first three series, the Avalanche outscored their foes 18-10 in the series opener. In Game 2, they are 1-2 with goals 7-5 in favor of Colorado.
While both teams have players who have been together for a while, two of the six goals scored in regulation came from forwards acquired at the trade deadline. Nick Paul scored Tampa Bay’s first goal and that was followed by a power-play goal for Colorado by Artturi Lehkonen.
The game was played mostly at even strength as each team had three power-play opportunities. This will be the only time during the Stanley Cup Finals with more than a day between games as Game 2 is set for Saturday night.
The series price for the Avalanche moved from -175 to -270 after the Game 1 win while Tampa Bay Lightning’s betting odds fell from +155 to +230. After winning Game 1, the best odds for the series are now showing Colorado at +275 to win the series in five games.
Lightning vs Avalanche Game Information
- Game: Lightning (51-23-8 in the regular season) Avalanche (56-19-7).
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver
- Day/Time: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Television: ABC
Lightning Happy to Welcome Back a Key Contributor
It looks like the gang is back together.
Tampa Bay was able to dispatch the Florida Panthers in four games, and the New York Rangers in a six-game series despite not having the services of injured center Brayden Point. There were rumblings late in the Rangers series that he was nearing a return.
“The Point”, who was Tampa Bay’s leader with 14 goals both during the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup runs, returned for the first time since being injured in Game 7 of the opening series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He should be even more comfortable in Game 2 in the Lightning vs Avalanche Game 2.
“The Point” didn’t have a shot on goal, however, he did record an assist and was fourth among Tampa Bay forwards in time on ice. He also returned to his duties on the power play. Point’s return provides even more depth throughout the lineup for the Lightning. Point also was 5 of 9 on faceoffs as the Lightning was +12 in that department. That was pretty much the only statistical category where Tampa Bay had the edge in the series opener.
Point’s return did not result in a Game 1 victory, however, it will give the Lightning a better chance of winning this series. With Point back, 15 of the 18 skaters for Tampa Bay in Game 1, have been part of NHL championship teams compared to just one for the Avalanche.
Avalanche Work Overtime Once Again
The Colorado Avalanche seems to be getting the hang of this over time.
This is the second straight overtime game for Colorado. Artturi Lehkonen scored 1:19 into overtime to finish off a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers. It took Andre Burakovsky 1:23 in the extra session to take a pass from Valeri Nichushkin and beat Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
It took a little longer in Colorado’s other overtime victories in the postseason with Cale Makar scoring 8:23 into OT in Game 2 of a four-game sweep of the Nashville Predators and fellow defenseman Josh Manson getting the game-winning tally at 8:02 in the first game of the series against St. Louis. Colorado had four of the first five shots in the lone overtime loss before Tyler Bozak ended it less than 4 minutes in.
This was not the first time that Burakovsky delivered in the postseason against Tampa Bay. While playing for the Washington Capitals, he scored twice in a 4-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Washington would need just five games to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals. Will he find the back of the net again in Game 2 in the Lightning vs Avalanche Game 2?
Burakovsky and Darren Helm are the only Colorado players with Stanley Cup titles; however, they finished 11th, and 14th among the Avalanche skaters in time on ice. Helm was one of five Colorado players with at least four shots on goal.
Lightning vs Avalanche Betting Analysis
If the Tampa Bay Lightning continues the Avalanche to have 60 percent of the shots on goal, this is going to be a short series.
Tampa Bay had a chance to capitalize on the fact that Colorado hadn’t played in more than a week as shots on goal were 4-4 in the early going, however, the Avalanche had the next four shots and scored on two of them to take command of the game.
Darcy Kuemper, who hadn’t played since Game 1 of the Edmonton series, was considered healthy enough to resume his role as Colorado’s No. 1 goalie. He wasn’t particularly impressive as he allowed three goals on 24 shots.
Neither Nazem Kadri nor Andrew Cogliano was able to suit up for Game 1. There is hope that one or two of them could be back for the Avalanche at some point in the series. Cogliano is one of four Colorado Avalanche players with previous Stanley Cup Finals experience while Kadri was third on Colorado with 87 points during the regular season.
Six of the last eight games between the teams have been decided by one goal. Five of the last six games featured at least seven goals scored with each of those five contests finishing over the total.
Tampa Bay has won four of its last six road games against Colorado as the visiting team has won six of the last eight matchups between the teams.
For those who want to bet on the Colorado Avalanche, the Moneyline has Colorado favored at -150.Follow us on Twitter