The Tampa Bay Lightning (64-29-9) have an opportunity to tie the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece when they welcome the Colorado Avalanche (70-21-8) to Amalie Arena for Game 4 on Wednesday. Can the defending champs rally from a 2-0 deficit for the second straight series? Find out in our Avalanche vs Lightning prediction.
Avalanche vs Lightning Odds & Analysis
The visiting Avalanche opened as the favorite for the fourth straight matchup, coming in at -125 on the moneyline, with the Lightning getting +105 at home. The total was set at 6 goals with the OVER going 5-0 in the last five meetings between the teams at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay goes into the contest riding an eight-game win streak at home, suggesting that the hosts may have the edge in our Avalanche vs Lightning prediction.
Avalanche Can’t Contain Lightning In Game 3
The Avalanche missed out on a chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Monday as they fell 6-2 to the Lightning. Colorado had an early goal called back due to an offside but captain Gabriel Landeskog officially opened the scoring just a few minutes later.
The Lightning responded with three straight goals before Landeskog scored again midway through the second, but Colorado couldn’t contain a hungry Tampa Bay attack. Darcy Kuemper allowed five goals on 22 shots before getting pulled in the second period.
While Colorado maintains home-ice advantage through the latter part of the series, pressure will be on the Avalanche to win Game 4 and not give the Lightning any more momentum. Tampa Bay, of course, rallied from a 2-0 deficit to knock off the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final, winning four straight to book a ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.
Andre Burakovsky (undisclosed) is questionable for Game 4.
Vasilevskiy Comes Up Big In Must-Win Game
The Lightning have rallied from behind to win two of three series so far this postseason, and the pattern may be continuing in the Stanley Cup Final after a big Game 3 win.
After the Bolts allowed the first goal of the game, Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat answered to give Tampa Bay the lead through 20 minutes. The Lightning then scored four in the second period to chase Kuemper from the net and secure a convincing win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy finally looked like himself, stopping 37 of 39 shots in the victory. Vasilevskiy, whose save percentage was above .900 for the first time this series, will need to continue this level of play if the Lightning are going to have a chance. Colorado outshot Tampa Bay 39-32 with the scoring chances at 51-30 in favor of the visitors, but Vasilevskiy made all the difference.
Nikita Kucherov (lower body) and Brayden Point (undisclosed) are questionable for Wednesday’s matchup.
Avalanche vs Lightning Pick & Insights
Avalanche: Keys To Victory
While Colorado dropped Game 3, the process was there: the Avalanche outshot and out-chanced Tampa Bay but were stonewalled by Vasilevskiy. If the Avs continue to outplay the Lightning, odds are they’ll come out on the right side in Game 4. Nathan MacKinnon has just two assists through the first three contests, so look for him to wake up sooner rather than later.
Lightning: Keys To Victory
Vasilevskiy was the difference-maker in Game 3 and based on how the series has gone so far, he’ll need to be just as good moving forward if Tampa Bay is going to have a chance at its third straight Stanley Cup. The Lightning also got plenty of depth scoring in Game 3 with goals from Cirelli, Nick Paul and Corey Perry – another trend that will need to continue in order for the Lightning to even up the series.
NHL Computer Pick: Avalanche -115
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