- What: Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Date: Thursday, February 9, 2023
- Location: Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: SN360, SNE, SNO, TVAS, ESPN
The last time the Colorado Avalanche faced the Tampa Bay Lightning was Game 6 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. That matchup took place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Colorado won the game 2-1. With that victory, the Avalanche ended the Lightning’s dream of winning the Stanley Cup in three straight seasons. Tonight, Thursday, February 9, 2023, the Avalanche and the Lightning head back to that same arena to face off during the 2023 NHL regular season action.
Colorado enters tonight’s game as the No. 8 team in the Western Conference. The defending Stanley Cup champions have a 27-18-4 record (58 points), a plus-17 goals differential and an away record of 13-9-3. The club is 7-2-1 in its past 10 games. As for the Lightning, they are the No. 5 team in the Eastern Conference thanks to their 32-16-2 record (66 points). Tampa Bay is 20-4-2 at home, 6-3-1 in their last 10 outings and plus-27 in goal differential on the 2023 NHL season.
Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s NHL matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning picks for February 9, 2023
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-126||-130||-130||-130|
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 a 7-2 run since then. However, the team is coming off a 2-1 OT loss in its first post-All-Star break game. That defeat was an away loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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. However, the team is still scoring at a good clip with Mikko Rantanen leading the way. The right wing has 34 goals and 61 points on the season. Nathan MacKinnon is second on the club in scoring with 55 points and 41 assists. Meanwhile, young defenseman Cale 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.
Tampa Bay Lightning breakdown
The Tampa Bay Lightning are in danger of going on their first three-game losing skid of the 2023 NHL season. The team came back from the NHL All-Star break on Monday and were blown out 7-1 by the Florida Panthers. Tampa Bay followed that with a 4-3 OT loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. The five previous times the team lost back-to-back games this year, the Lightning have responded with a win in its next outing.
Nikita Kucherov is having a fantastic year for the Lightning. He leads the team in scoring with 75 points in 50 games (20G, 55A). Meanwhile, the team’s leading goal scorer is Brayden Point, who looks like he will deliver a career-high in goals this season. Through 50 games, Point has 31 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 24:19 per game.
It’s no surprise to see goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy 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. Vasilevskiy has a goals against average of 2.63 and a save percentage of .916.
Best Bet for Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
This should be an exciting game, but the loss of Gabriel Landeskog will hurt the Avalanche tonight. When you couple that with the fact that Tampa Bay is the third-best team in the NHL on home ice, Colorado will struggle. The best bet for tonight’s rematch of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals is to pick the Tampa Bay Lighting to win.
Our pick: Tampa Bay Lightning to beat Colorado Avalanche.
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