Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#49 Tampa Bay Lightning -120 vs.
#50 Colorado Avalanche 6
Monday, February 17, 2020 at 9:05pm EST
Pepsi Center, Denver
Written by Valdis Pans

This article covers a past game!

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Having lost two outings in a row, the Colorado Avalanche (3rd in Central Division) will try to get back on track while hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning (2nd in Atlantic), who are vying for their 11th consecutive victory…

Bolts Extend Win Run

The Tampa Bay Lightning (39-15-5) are entering this week on the back of a 10-game winning run following a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Amalie Arena on Saturday. With that, the Bolts have gone on a 12-game point streak (11-0-1), currently sitting 2nd in the Atlantic Division with 83 points from 59 contests, trailing the 1st-placed Boston Bruins by three points, but with a game in hand. Tampa Bay is 19-8-3 when playing on the road this season, having won its very last five travels, with Nikita Kucherov leading the side with 28 goals and 72 points.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is presently enjoying a franchise-high 21-game point run (19-0-2), has gone 32-9-3 for the rolling year with a 2.42 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He has recorded a 1-2-0 previous tally against the Colorado Avalanche with a 3.72 GAA and a .828 save percentage. The Lightning, meanwhile, are netting the 2nd highest quantity of goals per game (3.54), while conceding the 4th lowest amount defensively (2.64). They are 6th in power play (23.3%) and 5th in penalty kill (83.5%).

Avs Lose Two In Row

The Colorado Avalanche (33-18-6) ended last week on a downer, losing not only two fixtures in succession (0-2-0), including the 2020 NHL Stadium Series clash against the Los Angeles Kings (3-1 at the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium on Saturday), but also starting goalie Philipp Grubauer to injury. Prior to the misery run, the Avs had won five contests in a row, dropping just one of their previous nine outings (8-1-0). The team is 3rd in the Central Division, two points below the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars, but with two games in hand. Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with 32 goals and 80 points.

Goalie Pavel Francouz has picked up 22 appearances (19 starts) so far this year, taking his current performance total to 13-5-2 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.44 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He has won his only previous start against the Tampa Bay Lightning, allowing two goals on 46 shots in a 6-2 victory for Colorado back on Oct. 19. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are scoring the absolute highest number of goals per game (3.56), while giving up the 8th lowest amount on the defensive end (2.79). They are 20th in power play (19.3%) and 19th in penalty kill (78.9%).

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The Lightning are in absolutely devastating form at the moment, having gone 22-2-1 in their last 25 outings and being just one victory away from banking a franchise-record 11th straight win. Meeting the Avalanche in their upcoming fixture, with Colorado having already beaten the Bolts 6-2 in Tampa Bay this season, might not seem like the ideal of scenarios. Still, do consider the Lightning for a victory here! The Avs have been playing some excellent hockey themselves, but have dropped their last two decisions and will be without goalie Philipp Grubauer, who sustained a lower-body injury during Saturday’s 2020 NHL Stadium Series outing against the Los Angeles Kings. Besides, when playing in Denver, the Avalanche have already failed to beat Tampa Bay since a 5-4 triumph versus the Bolts there in February 2015, going with four consecutive defeats subsequently.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning (-120)

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Four of the previous five head-to-head encounters between the two teams have gone past the set goal-mark, with an average of 8.50 strikes netted per game. Both sides are also the top two highest-scoring teams in the league at the moment, so expecting another goal-filled outing here is definitely quite a realistic proposition. Not a lot of goals have been buried in games involving the Lightning lately. Still, 10 of the previous 15 contests of the Avalanche versus sides with a winning percentage above the .600 mark have all seen plenty of scoring. So...

Prediction: Over 6
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Written By Valdis Pans

Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray's shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members' birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...