Will Lightning Strike Again and Force a Game 7?

NHL Jun 26, 2022

After a monster upset victory in Game 5 to stay alive in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning return home where they will continue their quest for a three-peat.  Tonight will be another "must-win" game against the mighty Colorado Avalanche.

The Tampa Bay Lightning avoided elimination on Friday night and have forced a Game 6 back on their home ice at Amalie Arena.  Meanwhile, Colorado Avalanche fans have reason to be nervous.

For a team that was supposedly banged-up and was counted out by many fans and bettors (confession: we thought the series would end at Game 5), Tampa Bay played with championship-level determination when things counted the most and now head home where they are 8-2 during this postseason, while allowing just 2.1 goals per game.

Will the Avalanche rebound and close out the win for their first Stanley Cup in 21 seasons, or will goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and his 1.82 home GAA force a Game 7?

We'll see when the puck drops on Sunday at 8:00 pm, EST.

Spreads.ca lists Colorado as a slight favourite. A 1.00 bet on the Avs returns 1.86. That same wager instead on the Lightning returns 1.95 if they win.  

As for the total, this series has seen mostly 6 as the settled O/U consensus, and that remains the dividing line as well for this critical Game 6 matchup


Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):

The Colorado Avalanche had a golden opportunity to win the Stanley Cup on home ice Friday night but let it slip away early. They played from behind (yet again) and failed to eliminate what was thought to be a tired, injured, and worn-down Tampa Bay team that was coming off a crushing emotional loss in the OT of Game 4.

The Avs' struggling offense now heads East to Amalie Arena where the Bolts are 17-5 SU over the last two playoff seasons with a plus-1.86 goal differential per game. That’s a dangerous prospect for a team with as much experience as Jon Cooper’s group and heading into Game 6, as the Lightning haven’t trailed in regulation since the first period of Game 3.

Hence, the Avs cannot fall behind again. We will find out early if this team was shaken to its foundation and will they make the necessary adjustments to recapture the edge, and seize momentum.

Since their one-sided loss in Game 2, Tampa Bay has trailed for just five minutes — during a stretch of over 190 minutes. But it hasn't been for lack of trying. Colorado is averaging 36.2 shots per game and has outshot Tampa in every game, but the Bolts have weathered the storm of late as Colorado has managed just two regulation goals in three straight contests.

We still think Andrei Vasilevskiy can be the difference in this series and is currently the No. 2 betting favorite for the Conn Smythe at Spreads.ca. His play at home in the playoffs has been legendary over the past three seasons as the reigning Conn Smythe winner is 25-11 SU with a 1.88 GAA and a .934 saves over the last three playoffs.

The Bolts are 8-0-1 in their last nine home games in these playoffs and their opponents have been held to two or fewer goals in regulation in seven straight games.

With Vasilevskiy’s success at home, and Tampa Bay outscoring the Avs 9-4 at even strength over the last three games, and Colorado lacking a high gear to close things out, we’re riding the Bolts at home at close to a pick‘em price.

Even with a multitude of injuries, the Bolts looked just as good as the Avs in Game 5 and they should only get healthier heading into Sunday’s elimination game.

Final Score Prediction:

Tampa Bay Lightning – 3

Colorado Avalanche --2