Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning (6/26/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies
The Tampa Bay Lightning survived, winning a hard-fought Game 5 with their backs against the wall in Mile High.
Can the Lightning continue to survive? Or will the Colorado Avalanche finally shut the door on the Stanley Cup Finals?
Let’s dive into the betting odds and my prediction for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Odds
The Lightning deserve this respect at home. The Avalanche have been the clear better team, but Tampa Bay is largely -105 across the market.
Sharp money is coming in heavily on the under, as the total currently sits at 6. The last two games of this series have gone under, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finally looks to be his old self.
Colorado Avalanche Analysis
All the Avalanche do is pour shots in on the net. They out-shot the Lightning 37-to-29 and won the Expected Goals battle 2.44-to-2.11 in the last game.
However, it’s surprising they only put together 2.44 Expected Goals in Game 5.
This is a vertical-playing hockey team that should always create high-level scoring chances. They just didn’t do that in Game 5, instead of succumbing to the Lightning’s defensive pressure.
They also got on the Power Play just twice and failed to convert in both opportunities. They finished with 11 Giveaways while Tampa ended with just three.
Colorado just didn’t have their best showing in Game 5. Darcy Kuemper hasn’t been good all series, but his -0.9 Goals Saved Above Expected mark was the nail in the coffin for this one.
Hopefully, Colorado’s goal scorers and forwards snap out of it and put up 5+ goals in one of the next two matches. But this is a very scary moment for Colorado.
Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis
The Lightning did everything they needed to do in Game 5. The Lightning are always going to get out-shot by Colorado, but there are ways to beat the Avalanche outside of just putting pucks on net.
The Avalanche dominated the time of possession, winning the faceoff battle 40-to-34 and finishing with just three Giveaways (as mentioned). They also messed with the Avalanche’s offensive flow in the defensive end, never allowing the Avalanche to get comfortable.
They also managed double the number of Power Play opportunities and converted on one. In a 3-2 game, that made all the difference.
And Vasilevskiy has been masterful over the past few games. The Lightning defense woke up in Game 5, but he still posted a +0.42 Goals Saved Above Expected mark, and, again, that makes all the difference in a one-score game.
What’s scary is that the Lightning did everything right and still only one by one goal. Tampa now has a daunting task ahead of them – playing 120 straight minutes of perfect hockey for back-to-back-to-back Stanley Cup trophies.
Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning Picks & Prediction
My pick: Tampa Bay Lightning ML (-105 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Lightning are at home in the playoffs with their backs to the wall.
You don’t think Vasilevskiy is going to put on a show?
This series is going seven. The Avalanche were stalled beyond the blue line in Game 5, and that’s a scary prospect given they rely on their time in that part of the rink to win games.
If you don’t create 50+ chances against Vasi in Tampa in this scenario, you’ve got no chance.
With that being the case, I’m backing Tampa in Game 6.