The Lightning defied the odds and stayed alive with a Game 5 victory. Now the series shifts to Tampa where the Lightning will either send this one to seven games or watch a new Stanley Cup champion crowned on their home ice.
Let’s analyze this Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Sunday, June 26, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Amalie Arena
Game 5 Recap
Jan Rutta got the scoring started in Game 5 with his first playoff goal at 15:23 of the 1st period. But Valeri Nichushkin would even things up just five minutes into the middle frame with his ninth of the postseason.
However, the Bolts would get back on the board and take the lead when Nikita Kucherov tallied on a man-advantage situation after Cale Makar was whistled for tripping.
But Makar would atone for his mistake when he evened the game at two apiece early in the third period with a healthy dose of puck luck that caromed off the skate of Erik Cernak eluding Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Nonetheless, the Lightning would strike for the final time when Ondrej Palat whizzed a one-timer through the pads of Darcy Kuemper that found a home in the back of the net with 6:22 remaining. It would prove to be the game-winner and the pulse the Lightning needed to keep the series alive.
Game 6 Betting Trends
- The favorite is 18-6 in the last 24 meetings.
- The Avalanche are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
- The Avalanche are 8-1 in their last 9 road games.
- The Lightning are 8-3 in their last 11 games following a win.
- Under is 7-0 in Lightning's last 7 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 9-1 in Lightning's last 10 games playing on one day's rest.
- Under is 6-1 in Lightning's last 7 home games.
- Under is 9-2 in Lightning's last 11 games following a win.
Game 6 Betting Analysis
The Avalanche outshot the Lightning 37-29 and outhit them 43-33 yet Tampa Bay emerged victorious on Friday night and kept the series alive. Moreover, they did it in hostile territory. If any team is up to the task, it’s the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. So, what happens this time around?
It’s been a tough series to forecast and if there is one aspect of this series that’s been more unpredictable than usual it is the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s had some real clunkers but has also been brilliant when it counted.
I believed he would be the key advantage the Lightning had over the Avalanche but Darcy Kuemper has been just good enough to backstop Colorado to within a whisker of the Stanley Cup.
Over Vasilevskiy’s 22 playoff games, he owns a 14-8 record with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. Compare that to Darcy Kuemper who has a 9-4 mark with a 2.69 GAA and a .898 save percentage. It can be said that if a goalie isn’t saving at least nine out of 10 shots then he’s a liability.
But Kuemper is close enough to that magic number that it would be unfair to lay any blame at his feet. Nevertheless, the Lightning seem to have found his number in the last game and Vasilevskiy has been shining as he had over the last two Stanley Cup Finals he won for the Bolts.
Game 6 Best Bets
This is a home game for the Lightning and as well as the Avs have played on the road in the postseason (8-1 over their last nine games), I am siding with the Lightning and see a goal-scoring binge for the Bolts.
I believe Tampa has their mojo back and the home crowd will be jumping on Sunday night. The NHL odds are also favorable, installing them as narrow home pups.
I would also bet that the total stays under as it has over the last several games. I am predicting a 4-1 win for the home team and a return to Mile High for Game 7.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.
Voices From the Locker Room
“That’s what good teams do — you find a way,” Lightning forward Corey Perry said. “Keep plugging along. This is fun. This is what hockey’s all about, different guys stepping up at different times.”
“Listen, this is a huge challenge for us,” Lightning forward Pat Maroon said. “An exciting challenge, too. You’ve got to be excited for this challenge and embrace it.”
“There’s no doubt we’re better equipped in these situations because you kind of feel (like) you put yourself in the shoes of the other teams, too, and what they must be thinking, what you’re thinking when you’re in these situations and how games played out,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s experience. ... And experience matters.”