SPORTS CHAT PLACE
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche meet Friday in game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Ball Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning look to save their season and force a game 6 on Sunday. The Colorado Avalanche look to win their third title in franchise history and their first since the 2000-01 season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging 3 goals per game and are scoring on 19.7 percent of their power play opportunities. Ondrej Palat leads Tampa Bay with 10 goals, Nikita Kucherov has 19 assists and Victor Hedman has 69 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing 2.71 goals per game and are killing 77.1 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 55 goals on 685 shots faced.
The Colorado Avalanche are averaging 4.5 goals per game and are scoring on 34.5 percent of their power play opportunities. Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with 12 goals, Cale Makar has 20 assists and Valeri Nichushkin has 63 shots on goal. Defensively, the Colorado Avalanche are allowing 2.83 goals per game and are killing 80.4 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Darcy Kuemper has allowed 34 goals on 334 shots faced, and Pavel Francouz has given up 16 goals on 171 shots.
The Lightning are 1-4 in their last 5 road games and 11-5 in their last 16 overall. The Avalanche are 64-19 in their last 83 games as a favorite and 59-20 in their last 79 overall. The under is 11-4 in Lightning last 15 overall. The over is 4-1 in Avalanche last 5 overall. The Lightning are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Colorado and 1-5 in the last 6 meetings.
Right when it looked like the Tampa Bay Lightning found their footing in the series and were going to make things interesting, they lose a heartbreaker in overtime and now trail 1-3. The Lightning are an experienced team that shouldn’t be quick to give up, but it’s tough to come back from certain losses, and game 4 was one of those. The Colorado Avalanche have all the momentum and for the most part have clearly been the better team this series. The Avs have won 81.9 percent of their last 72 home games. I’ll take the Avalanche and the PL here, as they’ll have plenty of open net chances if they’re up late. I’d love to see a game 6, but hard to bet against the home team here.