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|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1.5
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The Colorado Avalanche will have another opportunity to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning in this Game Six battle. The Avalanche won Game Four 3-2 in overtime but lost Game Five 3-2 in regulation. The scoring was light in the First Period, with only one goal being scored; Jan Rutta scored an assisted goal a little over 15 minutes in. The Avalanche tied it up at one five minutes into the Second Period behind a Valeri Nichushkin goal. However, Nikita Kucherov scored a power-play goal three minutes later to put the Lightning up 2-1. The rest of the Third Period was scoreless, but Cale Makar tied the game at two early in the Third Period. It looked like this game was going into overtime until Ondrej Palat scored the game-winning goal with around six minutes left.
The Colorado Avalanche have had no problem shooting the puck and scoring in this series. They are averaging 4.37 goals per game in the Playoffs and 39.5 shots per game. However, they only managed to score two goals last game. This does not mean that the Avalanche have to change their approach drastically. All they have to do is take better shots. They will be facing Andrei Vasilevskiy in net once more for the Lightning and need to get creative. Vasilevskiy is an incredibly difficult goaltender to score on, so they have to show him moves he has not seen before.
The Avalanche have seen strong shooting performances from Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Valeri Nichushkin, Cale Makar, and Nazem Kadri. These five players have combined for 47 goals and over half of Colorado’s scoring. Landeskog is the most impressive player in this group. He has 11 goals and is scoring on over 20% of his shots. All of the Avalanche players need to take notes from him and try to become as efficient as him.
Darcy Kuemper has regained control of the starting goaltender position after missing most of the Conference Finals. Other than Game Four, he has performed quite well. He cannot play much better than he did in that game, so he will have to depend on his defensemen to force the Lightning to take bad shots.
The Tampa Bay Lightning live to see another day after winning Game Five. Even though they are playing at home, they are still the underdogs. Their offense should be able to put up a couple of goals on home ice, but they will need to depend on their defense to slow down Colorado’s big hitters.
Andrei Vasilevskiy should receive a gift from the whole team for how well he has been playing. Vasilevskiy saw 37 shots last game and only gave up two goals. If not for his incredible play, the Lightning would be golfing right now.
Tha Avalanche will rebound from their Game Five loss and win this battle on the road.
|Colorado Avalanche||Head-to-Head||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Jared Bednar||Head Coach||Jon Cooper|
|56-19-7 (1st in Central Division)||Standing||51-23-8 (3rd in Atlantic Division)|
|Cale Makar (29)||Points||Nikita Kucherov (27)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (12)||Goals||Ondrej Palat (11)|
|Cale Makar (21)||Assists||Nikita Kucherov (19)|
|Gabriel Landeskog (14)||+/-||Ondrej Palat (9)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (5.79)||Shots (Per Game)||Nikita Kucherov (3.41)|
The Colorado Avalanche are still the favorites and will win if they score the first goal and draw penalties.
After losing last game, the momentum has switched in the Lightning’s favor. The quickest way for the Avalanche to regain that momentum is by scoring the first goal. In addition, the team that scored the first goal usually wins the game.
The Avalanche did not score a power-play goal last game. Colorado is usually very efficient on the power-play and is converting ⅓ of their attempts in the Playoffs. They need to return to form this game and score at least one power-play goal.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have home-ice advantage but are still not the favorites. However, they can win this game by limiting Colorado’s shots and slowing down Cale Makar.
Colorado has been able to score over four goals a game during the season and Playoffs because they shoot a lot. Even though the Avalanche lost last game, they still put up 37 shots. The Lightning need to limit the Avalanche’s shots. This is a non-negotiable for Tampa and will be the reason they win or lose.
Cale Makar can do it all. He can score, pass, and play great defense. That is why the Lightning need to slow him down and frustrate him on the ice.
Nathan MacKinnon has a penchant for shooting but does not convert too many of his shots into goals. He is only scoring 10.9% of his shots in the Playoffs. He needs to take better shots this game to give his team more chances.
I cannot say enough good things about Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Russian netminder is allowing under 2.5 goals per game in the Playoffs and playing incredible hockey. He just has to keep playing his brand of hockey, and Tampa should be in good shape.
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|Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning Information|
|What||Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Where||Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida|
|When||Sunday, June 26, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ABC, ESPN+|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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