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Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Finals Game Two Betting Preview

The Colorado Avalanche are one step closer to their first Stanley Cup championship in over 20 years, thanks to a thrilling 4-3 OT win in Game One. Something hints at the Tampa Bay Lightning not being too worried yet, however, as they go for their third straight Finals win.

The Lightning were down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals before rattling off four straight wins to eliminate the Rangers. Sure Tampa Bay would love to win Saturday night’s meeting to take back the home-ice advantage, but they also know there’s a lot of series left either way.

The Avalanche are -150 favorites in Game Two betting action, with Tampa Bay +124 for the upset.

Tampa Bay Needs to Start Quicker

The Lightning got themselves in a hole on Wednesday night, facing a 3-1 deficit after the first period. To their credit, they battled back thanks to goals from Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev but couldn’t find one more as Andre Burakovsky ended things in Colorado’s favor 1:23 into OT.

Some good news is that Palat continues to be hot, scoring for the sixth time in the last eight games. Another positive is that Tampa Bay got Brayden Point back in Game One for the first time since Game Seven against Toronto in the first round, and he did add an assist.

Andrei Vasilevskiy faced 38 shots from the relentless Colorado offense in Game One, stopping 34 of them. The Tampa Bay goaltender had allowed just five goals total over the previous four games, so he looks like he’s in for a long series.

Avalanche Wants Them Both

The Game One win was huge for Colorado, who face a huge experience disadvantage with Tampa Bay making their third Stanley Cup trip in the last three years. The Avalanche were also in a vulnerable position, having had the previous eight days off prior to Wednesday’s contest, but they showed no rust with three goals right off the bat in the first period.

Colorado’s first line continues to impress with Nathan Mackinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen combining for five points in the Game One win. The Avalanche could be getting reinforcements ahead of Game two as well, with Nazem Kadri skating with a stick on Thursday for the first time since injuring his thumb against Edmonton.

Another reason the Avalanche may have been vulnerable in Game One is because they were turning back to Darcy Kuemper in net for the first time since he suffered an injury in the series against Edmonton. Kuemper stopped 20 of 23 shots in his first action in over two weeks.

Lightning vs Avalanche Pick and Prediction

Colorado looked good in the series opener, and it actually seemed like the heavily experienced Lightning were the team with the jitters going down 3-1 in the first period. Game Two will show if Vasilevskiy has calmed down – or if Colorado’s offense is just that good. Bet on the latter.

Pick: Colorado -150

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