The Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche will play Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at Wednesday, June 15 at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Tampa Bay advanced to the final for the third straight year after beating the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final 4-2. Colorado advanced to the final, its first since 2001, after a four-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final
Lightning vs. Avalanche Game 1 odds (from DraftKings Sportsbook)
Puck line: Lightning +1.5 (-190); Avalanche -1.5 (+160)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-120); Under 6 (+100)
Moneyline: Lightning +135; Avalanche -155
Colorado won both regular-season matchups, a 4-3 shootout win at Amalie Arena on Oct. 23 and a 3-2 win at Ball Arena on Feb. 10. There isn’t much to take from either game as the Lightning have made trades and reshuffled their middle six forwards since the most recent game. The game in Denver featured one of the most exciting first periods of hockey I saw all season with both teams flying up and down the ice and creating exciting chances.
Expect the pace to slow down in the Final. Tampa Bay has found a structure that has already frustrated offensive powerhouses like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers and will try to impose a similar strategy on the explosive Avalanche.
Colorado has tons of offensive punch. Nathan MacKinnon (11 G, 7 A), Gabe Landeskog (8 G, 9 A) and Nazem Kadri (6 G, 8 A) put the puck in the net. Defenseman Cale Makar (5 G, 17 A) and forward Mikko Rantanen (5 G, 12 A) are the playmakers that set them up.
Tampa Bay’s offensive numbers are lower, but the Lightning counter with an elite goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Colorado has yet to face a top-end goalie during this postseason. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Game 1 score stays under the goal total.
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