Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup Preview

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Amalie Arena is the site for an East-West tilt as the Colorado Avalanche pay a visit to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning. The match gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 7 and it can be watched live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

Tampa Bay (-265) is currently favored over Colorado (+225) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under). Earning 8.2 units for moneyline bettors, Tampa Bay is 19-8 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That winning percentage, ranked first in the NHL so far this season, is a solid improvement compared to what the team did during the 2016-17 season (42-40). Of the teams 27 games this season, 16 have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and none have pushed. This season, the teams 11-3 SU at home. The Lightning enter the matchup with the strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they have converted on 28.7 percent of their extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.8 percent of all penalties. As a team, the Lightning have been penalized 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five contests home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 6.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total. Averaging 30.6 saves per game with a .932 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (18-5-1) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this season. If Tampa Bay chooses to rest him, however, head coach Jon Cooper might go with Peter Budaj (1-3-3 record, .867 save percentage, 3.75 goals against average). Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both spearhead the attack for the Lightning. Kucherov (40 points) has tallied 19 goals and 21 assists and has recorded two or more points in 13 different games this year. Stamkos has 11 goals and 27 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 19 contests. On the other side of the ice, Colorado is 12-14 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 0.5 units this season. A total of 16 of its outings have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. The Avalanche are 4-8 SU as an away team this season. The Avalanche have converted on 20.0 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 19th overall and it’s successfully killed off 79.2 percent of all penalties. Colorado’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 3.8 per game over their last five road outings. The teams had to kill penalties 8.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Semyon Varlamov (28.7 saves per game) has been the main choice in the net for Colorado. Varlamov owns an 8-8-1 record, and has registered a .905 save percentage and 3.09 goals against average this year. For the visiting Avalanche, the offense will be coordinated by Nathan MacKinnon, who’s got 21 assists and 10 goals this season.

Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Colorado has averaged 3.1 goals per game overall this year, but has been averaging 1.7 goals per matchup over its last three games (0-3 SU over that span).
  • Power-play opportunities could prove to be critical tonight. The Avalanche are 6-5 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-9 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Lightning are 11-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 10-4 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 1-1 in shootouts.
  • Tampa Bay might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 8-4 in games decided by one goal, while Colorado is 3-6 in such games.
  • The over has hit in three of Tampa Bay’s last five outings.
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 8.6 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 9.1 giveaways per game (ranked 12th overall).
  • Colorado skaters have averaged 8.4 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 7.0 giveaways per game (the fourth-fewest in the league).