- What: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche
- Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2023
- Location: Ball Arena in Denver, CO
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: SN, TVAS, ALT, BSSUN, ESPN+
The two teams who met in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche, faced off for the first time since that series — which the Avalanche won — last week in Tampa. The Lightning rolled over the defending Stanley Cup champions in that game, shutting them out 5-0. The clubs meet for the second and final time of the 2023 NHL season tonight in Colorado.
Four different Tampa Bay players scored goals in last week’s 5-0 drubbing, Brandon Hagel (2), Corey Perry, Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his first shutout of the season in the game, making 30 saves. Alexandar Georgiev was on the losing end of the goaltending battle, the Colorado netminder made 27 saves on 32 shots in the loss for one of his worst performances of the 2023 NHL season.
Tampa Bay enters tonight’s game as the No. 5 team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 34-16-2 for 70 points. The Lightning trail the Bruins (83 points), Hurricanes (76), Devils (73) and Maple Leafs (72) in the conference standings. Meanwhile, Colorado is in seventh place in the Western Conference. The Avalanche have a record of 28-19-4 (60 points). Teams in front of the defending Stanley Cup champs are Dallas (70), Vegas (68), Winnipeg (67), Seattle (65), Edmonton (65) and Los Angeles (65).
Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s NHL matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche picks for February 14, 2023
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-105||Even||-106|
Tampa Bay Lightning breakdown
The Tampa Bay Lightning have yet to lose three straight games during the 2023 NHL season. The team has lost back-to-back games six times this year, but they have bounced back with a win before those losing skids could hit a third consecutive setback. The team’s shutout win over the Avalanche on Thursday ended the club’s most recent skid. Since then, the Lightning picked up a win over the Dallas Stars on the road. They look to make it three straight wins when they face the Avalanche tonight in Colorado.
Nikita Kucherov is having a fantastic year for the Lightning. He leads the team in scoring with 77 points in 52 games (20G, 57A). Meanwhile, the team’s leading goal scorer is Brayden Point, who looks like he will deliver a career-high in goals this season. Through 52 games, Point has 32 goals. His previous career high came in 2019 when he netted 41 markers in 79 games. Defensively, Victor Hedman is once again the team leader in ice time with an average of 24:17 per game.
It’s no surprise to see goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is once again carrying most of the workload for the Lightning. He is on pace to get near his career high of 63 games played this year. His current record is 25-13-1. Vasilevskiy has a goals against average of 2.52 and a save percentage of .919.
Tampa Bay went 1-2 at Ball Arena during the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. They lost the opening two games of the series 3-4 (OT) and 7-0 before winning Game 5 3-2. The Lightning has a 13-12-0 away record for the 2023 NHL season.
Colorado Avalanche breakdown
The Colorado Avalanche hit a rough patch near the end of 2022, but they have rebounded and are trending in the right direction. The reigning Stanley Cup champs went 1-7 between December 27 and January 12, but they are on an 8-3 run since then. The Avalanche lost back-to-back games to the Penguins and Lightning last week, but rebounded with a 5-3 road win over the Panthers on Saturday.
The Avalanche have been without Gabriel Landeskog for all of the 2023 NHL season. That has hurt the team a bit, as he has been a point-per-game player. Star defenseman Cale Makar is listed as day-to-day and could miss tonight’s game. Other players who could miss the game against the Lightning are Erik Johnson and Darren Helm.
Despite missing Landeskog, Colorado is still scoring at a good clip with Mikko Rantanen leading the way. The right wing has 34 goals and 63 points on the season. Nathan MacKinnon is second on the club in scoring with 58 points and 42 assists. Meanwhile, Makar is once again scoring at a point-per-game clip with 45 points in 45 games.
The Avalanche has a capable duo in the net in Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz.
Colorado has a home record of 13-9-3 on the season.
Best Bet for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche
If you’re betting on tonight’s NHL matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche, you want to keep an eye on the injury report. If Makar and Johnson are off the ice, that’s going to be a huge blow to the team. Makar is the team leader in time on ice with 27:03 minutes per game and Johnson contributes 17:31. Without those two players the Avalanche defense is going to struggle. Even if those two players win, I think the Avalanche will have a hard time beating the Lightning in this game. Our pick is for the Tampa Bay Lightning to beat the Colorado Avalanche and sweep the 2023 season series between the two clubs.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning to beat the Colorado Avalanche.
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