The Colorado Avalanche (70-22-8) have their second chance of the series to win the Stanley Cup when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning (65-29-10) at Amalie Arena for Game 6 on Sunday. Can Colorado get the job done or will the defending champs force a winner-take-all showdown? Find out in our Avalanche vs Lightning prediction.
Avalanche vs Lightning Odds & Analysis
The Avalanche opened as the favorite once again on the moneyline, coming in at -125 with the Lightning getting +105 at home. The total was set at six goals with the OVER going 5-1 in the last six meetings between the teams in Tampa. Colorado is 8-1 in its last nine road games and snapped Tampa Bay’s eight-game home win streak in Game 4 – a trend that favors the visitors in our Avalanche vs Lightning prediction.
Avalanche Can’t Capitalize In Game 5
The Avalanche missed out on a chance to clinch their first Stanley Cup in more than 20 years as they fell 3-2 to the Lightning in Game 5 on Friday. Valeri Nichushkin (1-1-2) and Cale Makar (1-1-2) each had two-point nights to continue their excellent postseasons, but a late goal from Ondrej Palat sealed the win for Tampa Bay. Darcy Kuemper had a rough night in net as he stopped 26 of 29 shots and allowed a couple goals that he’d probably like to have back.
Despite the loss, there was a lot to like about Colorado’s game: they outshot Tampa 37-29 and outchanced them 33-21. The Avalanche have generally dominated the series, outshooting the Lightning 181-140 while outscoring them 18-14 through five games, so they should still be confident heading into a crucial Game 6.
Andre Burakovsky (hand) is questionable while Nichushkin (undisclosed) is probable for Game 6.
Palat’s Late Winner Forces Game 6
Ondrej Palat came through in the clutch once again as he scored his team-leading 11th goal of the postseason to put the Lightning up 3-2 with just over six minutes to play in regulation. The goal stood up as the winner, giving Palat his third game-winning tally of the 2022 playoffs, tied for the most among all skaters.
Jan Rutta and Nikita Kucherov scored the other two goals for Tampa Bay, while Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachev collected two assists each. Andrei Vasilevskiy was excellent once again between the pipes, stopping 35 of 37 shots.
Game 6 shifts back to Tampa Bay where the Lightning are 8-2 this postseason, tied with the New York Rangers for the most wins among all clubs. While Colorado did snap Tampa’s eight-game run at Amalie Arena in Game 4, the Lightning are outscoring opponents by an average score of 3.7-2.1 at home in these playoffs, so they’ll like their chances going into the must-win contest.
Brayden Point (undisclosed) is questionable for Sunday.
Avalanche vs Lightning Pick & Insights
Avalanche: Keys to Victory
The Avalanche simply need to continue with the game plan they’ve employed all series long as they’ve demonstrated that they’re the better team on most nights. The main problem for Colorado has been solving Vasilevskiy, who has a .938 save percentage over the last three contests. The Avalanche scored 11 goals through the first two games of the series, though, so they’re clearly capable of beating him.
Lightning: Keys to Victory
Tampa Bay might be getting outplayed in the series but they have two things going for them: a clear edge in net and an uncanny ability to score opportunistic goals. Vasilevskiy has been stellar over the last three games and he’ll have to perform at the same level in Game 6, while the offense will need to take advantage of a shaky Kuemper in the opposing net.
NHL Computer Pick: Avalanche -115 ML
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