The Tampa Bay Lightning will attempt to give the Colorado Avalanche just their third loss of the postseason and even up the series at 1-1, tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
The Avalanche have opened up as 1.5-point favorites, with 150 odds to win outright.
The Lightning have a chance tonight to steal homecourt advantage away and take one step further into establishing themselves as the dynasty of today’s modern era in the NHL. In Game 1, Tampa Bay dug themselves a steep hole early, having found themselves down 3-1 after the first period.
They were able to claw all the way out of that hole to force overtime before ultimately falling victim to a late Andre Burakovsky in the extra period. Tampa Bay will assuredly expect to come out stronger and more disciplined on defense, hopefully preventing themselves from having to overcome a galactic deficit.
The Lightning have had a much more grueling path to the Finals, so far, mostly due to their seven-game, first-round bloodbath in which they upset the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Avalanche have only played 15 games so far in this postseason, compared to the Lightning’s 18.
The difference in rest time and overall fatigue was evident in the early part of Game 1, as Tampa Bay came out flat and lifeless, leading to their 3-1 deficit in the first period. The Avalanche were able to overwhelm the two-time defending champions with their energy, speed, and physical dominance.
The Lightning were eventually able to settle the pace and start dictating the rhythm of the game which allowed them to even up the match at 3-3 behind goals from Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev.
In Game 2, both teams will work to try to establish the cadence early. The Avalanche will surely prefer to play at a breakneck pace, and the Lightning will try to slow the match down with quality puck control and intelligent passing.
Tampa Bay will be looking to get more offense out of Nikita Kucherov in Game 2, their leading scorer thus far in the playoffs. In their first matchup, the Avalanche were able to hold Kucherov to just one assist.
This is a crucial game that offers Colorado the opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 lead, but also presents the Lightning with an opportunity to steal home-court advantage and take the momentum away from the Avalanche.
— NHL (@NHL) June 18, 2022
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| Title: Lightning vs Avalanche Game 2 Preview
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: June 18, 2022