Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Colorado Avalanche (6/15/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final pits the Western Conference Champion, Colorado Avalanche vs. the Eastern Conference Champion, Tampa Bay Lightning.  Tampa Bay is making their third consecutive appearance in the Stanley Cup Final after rallying back from a 2-0 series deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers, winning four straight contests to capture the Prince of Wales Trophy.  The Avalanche are in their first Stanley Cup Final since 2000-01 when they beat the New Jersey Devils in seven games.  Colorado is coming off a four-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.

Tampa Bay has captured the last two Stanley Cups and currently +150 to win their third consecutive championship; the last team to do so was the New York Islanders who won four straight Stanley Cups; 1979-80 through 1982-83; winning 19 consecutive playoff series, the Lightning have won 11 straight series. 

The Avalanche had the best record in the Western Conference this season at 56-19-7 with 119 points.  Colorado is the favorite to win the 2021-22 Stanley Cup at -175; the Avalanche have won two championships since moving from Quebec as the Nordiques to Colorado in 1995. 

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Odds

The Lightning are 5-1 in their last six Stanley Cup Finals games.  Over is 5-2 in Tampa Bay’s last seven games playing on three or more days rest.  The Lightning are 13-3 in their last 16 playoff games as an underdog.  Under is 7-2 in Tampa Bay’s last nine playoff games as an underdog.  The road team is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings between the Lightning and Avalanche.  Colorado is 17-5 in their last 22 games playing on three or more days rest.  Under is 4-1-2 in the Avalanche’s last seven Stanley Cup Finals games.  Colorado is 35-16 in their last 51 playoff games as a favorite.  In the last 19 meetings between the Avalanche and Lightning the favorite is 15-4.

Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis

Nikita Kucherov was the Lightning third leading scorer with 69 points (25 goals and 44 assists) despite playing in only 47 regular season games in 2022.  The 2018-19 Hart Trophy winner is Tampa Bay’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 23 points (seven goals and 16 assists).  Kucherov is +400 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP this season.

Ondrej Palat has 16 points (eight goals and eight assists) during the postseason this campaign; second on Tampa Bay in postseason scoring.  Per NHL.com, he’s the first player in NHL history to score multiple game-winning goals during the final two minutes of regulation in a single postseason.  Palat is an “under the radar” Conn Smythe Trophy winner at +7500, that I like a lot.  Steven Stamkos led the team in goals with 42 and points with 106 points during the regular season.  The two-time Stanley Cup champion has 15 points (nine goals and six assists) in 17 playoff contests this year; third on the team in postseason scoring.  The Lightning captain is +1500 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. 

Victor Hedman was the second leading scorer for Tampa Bay in 2021-22 with 85 points (20 goals and 65 assists).  The 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner is the fourth leading scorer on Lightning this postseason with 14 points (two goals and 12 assists).  Additionally, Hedman is a +3 averaging 24:30 of ice time per contest in the playoffs.  He’s +2000 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner was 39-18-5 with a 2.49 GAA in 63 games this season.  The Lightning’s number 88 allowed nine goals on 62 shots in the two games of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Rangers; in the final four games of the series, he allowed five goals on 111 shots.  Through 17 playoff games this year, which he’s 12-5, he has a .928 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA.   The 2020-21 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is +400 to repeat as Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

Colorado Avalanche Analysis

Darcy Kuemper who’s battled through injuries during the playoffs this year is expected to be between the pipes for the Avalanche in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.  In 10 postseason games, Kuemper has a save percentage of .897 (210 saves on 234 shot attempts with a 2.65 GAA.  Backup Pavel Francouz is 6-0 this postseason for the Avalanche.  He has a .906 save percentage and a 2.86 GAA.  Each of Colorado’s goalies are +4000 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Cale Makar is second overall in the NHL in postseason scoring by a defenseman with 22 points (five goals and 17 assists).  Additionally, he’s a +11 while averaging 27:05 of ice time per contest in the playoffs.  At +180 he’s the favorite to win the 2021-22 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.  Devon Toews is a +9 while averaging 25:50 of ice time per game in the postseason.  Toews has 13 points (five goals and eight assists) during Colorado’s postseason run this year.  

Nathan MacKinnon is the second favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at +210 this season.  MacKinnon leads Colorado in goals (11) and ranks second on the team with 18 points this postseason.  The nine-year veteran has 39 career playoff goals in 64 postseason games. 

Mikko Rantanen led Colorado in scoring this season with 92 points (36 goals and 56 assists) while being an impressive +35.  Through 14 playoff games in 2021-22, he has 17 points (five goals and 12 assists); tied for third on the Avalanche in postseason scoring.  Rantanen is +1500 to win the Conn Smythe Award.  Gabriel Landeskog returned from knee surgery in round one vs. the Predators and has tallied 17 points (eight goals and nine assists) in 14 postseason games in 2021-22; tied with Rantanen for third in playoff scoring for the Avalanche.  The Colorado captain is currently +2000 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.  Nazem Kadri battling an upper body injury suffered in the Western Conference Finals, has scored 14 points (six goals and eight assists) in the 2021-22 postseason.  His status for the Stanley Cup Final is unknown currently.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Colorado Avalanche Picks & Prediction

Tampa Bay has scored 52 goals this postseason: averaging 3.06 goals per game.  The back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions scored 12 goals in the last four games of the Eastern Conference Finals.  Under is 5-1 in the Lightning’s last six road games.  Tampa Bay is 4-1 in their last five games as a road underdog.  In the four-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals, the Avalanche scored 22 goals: 5.5 goals per game.  Colorado is 57-13 in their last 70 games as a home favorite.  The Avalanche are 38-17 in their last 55 contests vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

This should be an awesome environment at the Ball Arena in Denver on Thursday night, as the Avalanche play their first Stanley Cup Final home game in over 20 years.  I’m going with the home team, Colorado Avalanche to win Game 1 due to their explosive offense and the lift they’ll get from their number one goalie, Darcy Kuemper returning to the lineup plus the extra energy in the building.  Colorado wins, 5-2, covering the 1.5 goal spread as the teams go over for six combined goals.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Home Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Scott has been a sports fan since he received a New York Mets jacket as a toddler. He’s been playing fantasy baseball and football for over 20 years, dating back to Frank Thomas being one of his first fantasy baseball picks. As a professional, he has covered the NFL, MLB, NCAAF, and NCAAB and is looked to as the go-to guy for fantasy sports amongst family, friends, and co-workers.

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