Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche will face each other in the NHL 2021/22 season on Saturday evening. The home side wants to stabilize its form and bounce back with a win after their latest match. The visitors cannot be happy with their latest performances, and they will search for improvement.
Tampa Bay heads to this game with a 2-2-0 record, and they lost against Florida Panthers on Tuesday evening. The hosts want to secure the best possible position in the regular season, and they want to get back on the winning track. On the other hand, Colorado lost three times in a row, and they look forward to breaking that poor streak. However, a very tough challenge is ahead of them, as they are about to face the defending champions.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Can they get back on the winning track?
The Lightning still haven’t reached the optimal level, as they already lost two games in the first four rounds. The defending champions are 5th in the Atlantic Division, and they look forward to improving their standings. They still search for the first victory on the home ice, as Tampa Bay lost to the Penguins and the Panthers when playing in front of the home crowd. The Lightning still haven’t won in the regular time, and they should be more confident in the next matches.
Brayden Point scored the only goal for Tampa Bay in their 4-1 loss against Florida, while Andrei Vasilevskiy had a .904 save percentage, conceding three goals from 34 opponent shots. The Lightning has been pretty good offensively so far, but they have issues in defense. Steven Stamkos leads Tampa Bay in the offense with seven points and three goals, while Victor Hedman logged six assists. On the other hand, Andrei Vasilevskiy should improve his save percentage, which is at .893 currently. The Lightning score three goals per game on average, but they concede 4.25 goals per contest.
Expected Line-Up: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point
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Colorado Avalanche – Will they stop their losing streak?
The Avalanche have a slow start to the new campaign, as they have celebrated only once so far. The visitors opened the season with a 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks, but they tied three defeats afterward. Colorado goes to this game after losing to Florida Panthers, and interestingly, they also lost 4-1 to the Cats. The Avalanche sit in 5th place in the Central Division with a 1-3-0 record, and they need to change their fortune.
Similar to their rivals, Colorado also has defensive issues. They have also conceded 4.25 goals per game on average, while they scored one goal less than their upcoming opponents. Jonas Johansson made his premier appearance against the Panthers and had a .919 save percentage, conceding three goals in that match. On the other hand, Mikko Rantanen scored the only goal for the Avalanche in their losing effort. J.T. Compher is Colorado’s most productive player in the offense, with two goals and four points in total, while Nazem Kadri is the best packer with three assists.
Expected Line-Up: Jonas Johansson, Samuel Girard, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen
Expert Pick #1 – Tampa Bay Lightning to win @-113
The Lightning had a couple of days more to rest and prepare for this match, while the Avalanche plays another match in Florida on the road. I believe the hosts should celebrate their first victory in front of the home crowd, and I’ll back them as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 6 @-105
Both teams have been pretty good in the offense, while they struggle to keep their defenses tight. The Over cashed in two Lightning and three Avalanche matches, and I’ll take it as my second bet here.
Expert Pick #3 – Lightning to win in regular time @+145
If you search for higher odds, then backing Tampa Bay to win in regular time at home might bring a good value. Although this will be an exciting clash, I think the hosts are capable enough to see off their rivals without going into overtime or shootout.