Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1.5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning will attempt to tie up this Stanley Cup Finals with a win on the road. The Lightning had a chance to steal Game One but could not score in overtime. The Avalanche came out hot and scored two goals in the first ten minutes; Gabriel Landeskog scored the first goal and Valeri Nichuskin scored the second goal. The Lightning scored their first goal a little over 12 minutes in, but Artturi Lehkonen pushed the Avalanche lead to two with a power-play goal with 2.5 minutes left in the first. The Lightning scored two goals in the Second Period within one minute of each other to tie the game up. The Third Period saw no scoring action, but Colorado wasted no time putting the game away in overtime. With 18:37 left in the first overtime period, Andre Burakovsky sent a one-timer to the back of the net and was the Game One hero.
The Tampa Bay Lightning may be the most impressive team in the NHL. After having a good, but not great, season, they miraculously made the Stanley Cup Finals for the third season in a row.
The Lightning have a veteran presence that no other team can match. Their four leading scorers are all veterans, and if Tampa wants any chance of winning this cup, it will come down to them. Steven Stamkos is the most experienced player of this group. Stamkos has been in the league for over ten years and is still producing at the age of 32. In the previous round, he had five goals and two assists. Two of those goals came in the Game Six elimination match that sent Tampa to the Finals. Victor Hedman is the next most experienced veteran on this team. Hedman, a 2009 NHL Draft 1st Round pick, is a smart defenseman and strong passer. He has 13 assists in the Playoffs and had 65 during the season.
In addition to all of the veteran experience the wingers, center, and defensemen bring, the Lightning have a very experienced goaltender in net. Andrei Vasilevskiy has gotten every Playoff start and is only giving up 2.36 goals per game.
The Colorado Avalanche are not as experienced as the Lightning, but make up for that with offense.
The Avalanche are averaging 4.6 goals per game in the Playoffs and have nine players with at least five goals. Nathan MacKinnon has been the most explosive player in the group. MacKinnon is averaging an incredible 5.8 shots per game and has 11 goals.
There is not a whole lot to say about the Avalanche’s goaltenders. Colorado has two solid netminders in Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz. They put up similar numbers, so they are in good shape with either of them in net.
Colorado has momentum from a Game One win and is playing at home, so they will win Game Two.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Head-to-Head||Colorado Avalanche|
|Jon Cooper||Head Coach||Jared Bednar|
|51-23-8 (3rd in Atlantic Division)||Standing||56-19-7 (1st in Central Division)|
|Nikita Kucherov (24)||Points||Cale Makar (22)|
|Ondrej Palat (9)||Goals||Nathan MacKinnon (11)|
|Nikita Kucherov (17)||Assists||Cale Makar (17)|
|Ondrej Palat (8)||+/-||Gabriel Landeskog (15)|
|Nikita Kucherov (3.39)||Shots (Per Game)||Nathan MacKinnon (5.80)|
The Tampa Bay Lightning will win this game if they score power-play goals and play strong team defense.
The Lightning have had no problem drawing penalties, but they have not been to score with a man advantage. They are converting less than 22% of their power-plays, and their inability to score with an advantage has become a major hindrance. Tampa must score a power-play goal this game.
The Lightning have a solid defense but are facing the best offense in the league. They need to communicate and play as one unit in order to limit Colorado’s scoring.
The Avalanche are the favorites and will win if they take a lot of shots and pass to Nathan MacKinnon.
The Avalanche took 38 shots in Game One and are averaging over 40 shots a game in the Playoffs. Colorado’s offense has been so explosive because they never stop shooting. They need to continue shooting as much as they can.
Nathan MacKinnon is leading Colorado’s shooting attack. He is averaging almost six shots a game and has 87 shots in the Playoffs. His teammates need to give him the puck and let him shoot whenever he feels comfortable.
Victor Hedman leads the Lightning defense. He is an impressive player but needs to step up in this series. The Avalanche have an offensive juggernaut that can only be stopped by Victor Hedman.
I wonder what it feels like to be Andre Burakovsky right now; Burakovsky scored the overtime goal in Game One that secured Colorado’s victory.
Burakovsky has to take advantage of his momentum. He may never feel higher than this in his NHL career, so he needs to take shots and make the right passes. Make no mistake, Andre Burakovsky is Colorado’s X-factor in Game Two.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche|
|Where||Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado|
|When||Saturday, June 18, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ABC|
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