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Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning Game Six Betting Preview

The Colorado Avalanche is in an interesting position heading into Sunday’s Game Six of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. The Avs’ are still in a good spot, up 3-2 with two chances to get one win – but at the same time, a Tampa Bay Lightning win on their own ice sends things back to Denver for a very dangerous Game Seven.

Tampa Bay showed the heart of a 2X champion on Friday night, knocking Colorado’s home record to 7-3 during this postseason in a 3-2, season-saving win. Despite that victory, the Lightning are -105 in Game Six, slight underdogs to the Avs’ at -114.

Colorado Tightening Their Sticks

It was supposed to be a celebration 21 years in the making and in front of the hometown fans heading into the weekend. Instead, Colorado could not capitalize on their 3-1 series lead and instead are heading back to Amalie Arena trying to repeat the 3-2 OT win in Game Four that gave Tampa Bay just their second home loss of the playoffs.

We’ve really seen goaltending buckle down these last two matchups, with Darcy Kuemper stopping 37 of 39 shots in Tampa in Game Four while Andrei Vasilevskiy denied 35 of 37 Colorado shots on Friday.

Valeri Nichuskin and Cale Makar had goals in Game Five, but otherwise, the top line of Nathan Mackinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen – as well as the high-scoring Nazem Kadri – were nonexistent as that group combined for just one point, a Mackinnon assist.

Tampa Bay Likes the Chip on Their Shoulder

Sometimes a team loses their edge when they have success, so in a way, Tampa Bay may be relishing in this situation of having their backs against the wall. They’ve been down 2-3 to the Maple Leafs and 0-2 to the Rangers this postseason and have come back to win both. Is a 1-3 deficit to Colorado the next hill to overcome en route to a third straight Stanley Cup?

Ondrej Palat had the game-winner on Friday night, and Vasilevskiy held off the Avalanche attack for the final six-plus minutes to make the series 3-2. Palat’s goal was his third goal of the Finals to go along with four assists, so a Conn Smythe could be in his future if TB can complete the comeback.

First things first, of course.

Avalanche vs Lightning Pick and Prediction

What a difference a game makes. A series that looked like it was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ Colorado held up the Stanley Cup for the first time in two decades now looks destined for a Game Seven.

Both teams obviously have value at this pricing. Colorado was already able to pick up a win in Tampa Bay this series, and Kuemper looked pretty good even in a rough environment. This seems like a spot where postseason – especially Stanley Cup Finals – experience is going to play a huge role, so the 2X champs on their own ice has to be the play.

Pick: Lightning -105

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