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Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Game 5 Betting Preview

It’s closeout time for the Colorado Avalanche, who are one win away from claiming their first Stanley Cup Finals since 2021. They say a playoff series doesn’t start until a team loses at home, which is exactly what the Tampa Bay Lightning did in falling 3-2 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

The Lightning need to find a way to win in Game Five, or their quest for a third straight Stanley Cup will fall short. Things get interesting if the defending champs can head back to Tampa Bay down 3-2, but the Lightning also looked real bad in the 7-0 loss in Game Two in Denver.

Atmosphere Too Much for TB?

Jon Cooper’s squad is dealing with two kinds of tough atmospheres in Game Five. The first is an electric energy from a fan base teetering on the chance to celebrate a Stanley Cup win on their own ice. The second is the Denver altitude, which had to at least in some way contribute to 4-3 and 7-0 losses in Games One and Two.

The Lightning head back to Ball Arena sporting a 5-6 road record during the 2022 playoffs. Things are looking pretty bleak as +150 underdogs, but the 2X Stanley Cup champions can’t be counted out until the final buzzer sounds.

One player who obviously has a lot of pressure on him in Game Five is goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He’s been better the last two games allowing five goals on 76 shots to a really good offense but gave up seven scores on 30 shots playing in Denver in Game Two.

Colorado Stacking Up Well

It’s almost like the Avalanche got two players back on Wednesday, with Nazem Kadri returning from a thumb injury to score the game-winner in OT, but also Nathan Mackinnon getting on the board with his first goal of the Finals. The last thing this surging team needs is to get even better.

With Kadri back on the ice and Mackinnon on the board with his first goal, the Avs’ might just have too much firepower in Friday night’s game. Mikko Rantanen has added eight points this series, with Gabriel Landeskog chipping in three goals.

Colorado exploited the Tampa Bay defense in the last game at Ball Arena, with Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin both scoring two goals en route to the 7-0 win. Perhaps more importantly, Tampa Bay looked uninterested, managing just 16 shots with Darcy Kuemper turning away each of them.

Lightning/Avalanche Betting Prediction

Can Colorado hoist the Cup for the first time in over two decades and do it on their own ice?

If they do, any one of 3-4 different players could be considered for the Conn Smythe Trophy. This is an incredibly deep team. It’s possible that Tampa Bay has accepted the fact that they had a good run, but their time is up.

The Lightning looked like they didn’t want to be there in Game Two’s blowout loss, and a very similar outcome wouldn’t be shocking on Friday night.

Pick: Avalanche -1.5 (+145)

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