The Lightning will look to three-peat as they prepare to take on the Western Conference champs from Mile High. Let’s analyze this Stanley Cup Final matchup and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Ball Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis
The Lightning skate into Denver with their third consecutive Eastern Conference title in hand and must prepare to take on an Avalanche team that is much more offensively equipped than Tampa’s Conference Finals foes from New York.
After sweeping the regular-season champion Florida Panthers, the Lightning had plenty of time to lick their wounds and prepare for the Rangers, a team that survived a grueling seven-game series with the Hurricanes by winning the last two games.
Quick Turnaround From the Lightning
However, Tampa Bay found out very quickly that there is a difference between rest and rust as they were blown out, 6-2, in Game 1 followed by a 3-2 setback in Game 2. But the Lightning would soon shake free from their malaise by winning the next four games and punching their ticket to their third Stanley Cup Final.
The key to victory for the Bolts was the stellar play of All-World goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who shut the door on the Rangers' offense by surrendering just 5 goals over the last four games.
Meanwhile, Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 23 points over 17 postseason games while Steven Stamkos is tops on the team in playoff goals with 9 and netted both goals in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 Game 6 series-clinching win over New York.
Colorado Avalanche Analysis
Colorado began their playoff voyage with a four-game sweep of the Predators and then got busy by battling a plucky St. Louis team in the second round. That series would go six games as J.T. Compher netted a pair of goals and Darren Helm fired a slap shot through traffic that beat Blues’ goalie Ville Husso low on his glove-hand side to seal the deal with just six seconds remaining in regulation.
That would set the stage for an offensive slugfest with the Edmonton Oilers, boasting two of the league’s most dynamic goalscorers, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.
But what Edmonton harnesses in goal-scoring firepower they lack in defensive ability. That would ultimately be their undoing as the Avalanche rolled to their second sweep of the postseason culminating in a 6-5 Game 4 overtime victory.
An overtime win is never easy but it is particularly daunting when a team is staring at a 3-1 deficit entering the final period. However, the Avalanche were undeterred and roared back-to-end regulation tied at five apiece.
Lehkonen Turned Out to Be a Great Acquisition
Artturi Lehkonen would deposit his sixth goal of the playoffs just over a minute into overtime to send Colorado into the Stanley Cup Finals. Lehkonen was a trade deadline acquisition and the Avs gave up a solid prospect as well as a second-round pick to the Canadiens to get him.
“Everybody knows how good he is, how resilient he is,” said teammate, Mikko Rantanen. “He checks, he defends hard, he kills penalties, plays on the power play, he scores big goals, goes to the hard areas.
"What else can you ask for from a player — a trade acquisition. It’s fun to watch, and I’m really happy that we got him, and he’s shown why we gave quite a bit for him.”
- The Lightning are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- The Lightning are 8-1 in their last 9 games following a win.
- The Lightning are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Colorado.
- Road team is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.
- Under is 10-1 in Lightning’s last 11 overall.
- Under is 8-1 in Lightning’s last 9 games following a win.
- Under is 5-1 in Lightning’s last 6 road games.
- Under is 4-0 in Avalanche’s last 4 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
How to Bet on Lightning vs. Avalanche Game 1
Both teams can score but the Lightning have two major advantages over the Avalanche in this series.
Tampa Bay Lightning Experience
Naturally, they are Stanley Cup proven winners two years running and seeking a third this year which gives them a huge checkmark on the experience side of the ledger.
Andrei Vasilevskiy Current Form
Secondly, the Bolts have a steel curtain in net, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has had a few uncharacteristically erratic performances this postseason.
But the Russian sensation looked sharp as a razor over the last four games against the Rangers, fashioning a 1.25 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in those contests.
Darcy Kuemper's Injury
On the flip side, the Avs will have to cross their fingers that their No. 1 man, Darcy Kuemper, has recovered from his injury sustained in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Edmonton.
Entering this matchup Kuemper has a .897 save percentage which is serviceable but not outstanding at this stage of the game.
Lightning vs. Avalanche: Betting Pick for Today
The NHL odds are revealing the hometown Avalanche as sizeable favorites but we will take the road dog here in what should be a highly charged game with just enough scoring to get us over the six-goal hump the oddsmakers are dealing.
*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.