Only a trio of NHL franchises have won three consecutive Stanley Cup championships, with those clubs accomplishing the feat a total of five times. The Montreal Canadiens, who won five (1956-60) and four straight (1976-79), and Toronto Maple Leafs both did it twice while the New York Islanders (four from 1980-83) were the last to carry out the monumental task. The Tampa Bay Lightning are in position to join the prestigious group, and they look to move one step closer when they visit the Colorado Avalanche for Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday. Tampa Bay became the first team to make three straight appearances in the Final when they defeated the New York Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference final, while Colorado reached the championship round for the third time in franchise history by sweeping Edmonton in the Western Conference final.
Opening faceoff at Ball Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Colorado is the -160 favorite (risk $160 to win $100) in the latest Avalanche vs. Lightning odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total goals scored is six. Before making any Lightning vs. Avalanche picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
- Avalanche vs. Lightning money line: Colorado -160, Tampa Bay +140
- Avalanche vs. Lightning over/under: 6 goals
- Avalanche vs. Lightning puck line: Colorado -1.5 (+160)
- Avalanche vs. Lightning tickets: See tickets at StubHub
- COL: The Avalanche are 37-7-4 at home this season, including the playoffs
- TB: The Lightning are 13-3 in their last 16 playoff games as underdogs
Featured Game | Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Why the Avalanche can win
Colorado should be plenty rested as it has not played since posting a 6-5 overtime victory at Edmonton on June 6. The lengthy stretch of idle time wasn’t really needed since the team has gone only two games over the minimum through the first three rounds of the playoffs. But the fact that one of the NHL’s most potent offenses has had a chance to recharge does not bode well for Tampa Bay.
The Avalanche have four players in the top 10 in playoff scoring — including defenseman Cale Makar, who has recorded five goals and 17 assists in 14 contests. Selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, the 23-year-old was involved in five of Colorado’s six goals in Game 4 of the Western Conference final, scoring one and setting up four others. The 2020 Calder Trophy winner, who notched an assist on Artturi Lehkonen’s series-clinching overtime tally, has registered five multi-point performances this postseason — registering at least three points in each.
Why the Lightning can win
Being swept by Columbus in the first round of the 2019 postseason after winning the Presidents’ Trophy was the best thing that ever happened to Tampa Bay. The club has not lost a playoff series since, winning 11 in a row, and has used its championship experience to get to the Final this a third straight time. The Lightning rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to defeat Toronto in the opening round and, after sweeping Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida, lost the first two games of the Eastern Conference final before winning four straight to knock off the Rangers.
Tampa Bay’s seasoned stars were instrumental in the series victory as Ondrej Palat (two), Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos scored game-winning goals. The 28-year-old Kucherov, who led the NHL in scoring each of the last two postseasons, is tied for fourth this year with 23 points and is riding a five-game streak during which he has registered three tallies and five assists. Meanwhile, 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed a total of three goals in the sweep against the Panthers, shook off a pair of shaky performances against New York and yielded five tallies over the final four games of the series.
How to make Lightning vs. Avalanche picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 7.1 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Lightning vs. Avalanche in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Avalanche vs. Lightning money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times.