The first game of the Stanley Cup Finals lived up to the hype. The Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning threw punches at each other throughout the game and ultimately it was Colorado who prevailed with the overtime win. The Avalanche jumped all over the Lightning early, taking a 3-1 lead over the two-time defending champions. But as they normally do, the Lightning responded and tied the game up. They weathered the storm from the early strike but just couldn’t win the game. Entering game two, the two teams know what to expect and it should make for another strong game. Will the Avalanche take a two to nothing series lead? Or will the Lightning even the series up before going home for two games?
How Tampa Bay can win: The two-time defending champions looked slow out the gate but did figure things out as the game went on. They weren’t fully prepared for the speed of the Avalanche, and it showed early. However, the Lightning are champions for a reason. They now know what to expect from the Avalanche and will adjust accordingly. They are too good to be kept down and have the advantage between the pipes. Andrei Vasilevskiy needs to be better and not let some easy shots in but he has shown that he can make changes during a season. The Lightning should look better than in game one and it could make a difference in the game outcome.
How Colorado can win: The Avalanche have now gone 13-2 over the course of the playoffs. They are extremely quick in every aspect of the game, and it showed early against Tampa Bay. If they can keep the pace up, then this series could be over early. They have the clear advantage in that area over Tampa Bay and it made life tough for the Lightning at times. However, the Avalanche need to do a better job at not letting teams come back when they take an early lead. Going up against a team like the Lightning, if you give up a lead, it normally comes back to bite you. It didn’t in game one but it’s something to watch as the series going forward.
The Spread Via FanDuel:
Moneyline: TBL: (+128) | COL: (-154)
Spread: TBL: +1.5 (-205) | COL: -1.5 (+168)
Final Prediction: Lightning 2 Avalanche 1
-I like the Lightning to even the series here tonight. Tampa Bay saw the speed of the Avalanche and matched it. They sent the first game to overtime and will be looking to respond here. Give me Tampa Bay to win here.