Stanley Cup picks: 4 bets for Lightning vs Avalanche Game 5
Andrew Berkshire provides his best NHL picks and predictions for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche.
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The Stanley Cup is in the building tonight as the Colorado Avalanche have a chance to eliminate the Tampa Bay Lightning, the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. This is a game for the Avalanche to prove their greatness, or the Lightning to show that even against all odds, tired and injured, they’re not so easy to put down.
In Game 4 on home ice, the Lightning started the game perfectly. They scored early, they put tons of chances on net, and while the Avalanche had a ton of puck possession, every play they made, the Lightning had an answer for. However, over the course of the game, the Avs’ speed and possession started to wear the Lightning down and find holes. Eventually they went from being outshot severely to even.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was brilliant against the waves of Avalanche offence, but even his greatness couldn’t stop the tide indefinitely. On Colorado ice, after things went so well for Tampa in Game 4 and it still wasn’t enough, I’m just not sure where a win would come from for Tampa Bay.
Lehkonen has been making a habit of echoing his greatest moments in this postseason, with the biggest one being his overtime goal to send the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup Final, just like he did for the Montreal Canadiens last season.
Last season when he scored that goal, he did it on Quebec’s Fête Nationale, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Saint-Jean in 2022 happens to be tonight. It was a euphoric moment for the province amid ongoing pandemic restrictions that kept fans out of the building aside from a paltry 3,000.
After Lehkonen’s excellent pass to set up Kadri for the overtime winner last game, it sure looks like he’s going to cook up some magic once more.
On the verge of a first in NHL history, Corey Perry could lose in the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year for three different teams. It’s the worst kind of NHL record, one that Marian Hossa almost set before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with him in 2010.
While most of the Lightning roster are playing for legacy, doing something that hasn’t been done since the New York Islanders in the early 80s, Perry is going to be playing out of desperation to avoid the pain of loss he’s dealt with two straight years. If anyone is going to sacrifice their body to put the puck over the line one time tonight, it’s Perry.
In four games in this series, MacKinnon has put under 4.5 shots on goal just once, and over the last two games he’s put 14 shots on goal. He finally got his first goal of the postseason, and it happened to be a bounce off his skate that did it.
When you put in the work and keep getting opportunities, sometimes you get those breaks to bust a scoring slump. Now that MacKinnon isn’t sitting on zero for the series, he’s going to feel even more confident shooting.