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Game 28 Preview: Avalanche at Lightning


Matchavalanche_medium Vs_medium
Colorado Avalanche
5:30 MT / 7:30 ET / 12:30 GMT
Tampa Bay Lightning
14-8-5 November 30th, 2009
33 pts St Pete Times Forum
28 pts
4th in West
Tampa, FL
8th in East


The Colorado Avalanche suffered a huge blow on Saturday when they lost David Jones to a torn ACL, but there's no time to dwell on the disappointing turn of events. The Avs begin a key 5-game road trip tonight in Tampa. Colorado slipped out of the top spot in the NW and dropped from 3rd to 4th in the Western Conference standings this week. They need to stop that slide quickly; seven teams are behind the Avs by just 5 points or less and Colorado needs points to stay ahead of them. Obviously, a few of those elusive 60-minute efforts would really come in handy this week...

Although the Avalanche don't face the Lightning all that often, there are a lot of familiar faces on the Lightning. Besides old friend Alex Tanguay, there are 5 other former players who've played for a NW division team: Mathias Ohlund (Vancouver), David Hale (Calgary) and Kurtis Foster, Stephane "That Ass" Veilleux, Todd Fedoruk (Minnesota). The Lightning also have notable players in Steve Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St Louis and some Victor Hedman fellow. Add in Jeff Halpern, who always seems to do well against the Avalanche, and you've got a lot of familiarity for a team

As you can see by the tale of the tape below, the Lightning, like the Avalanche, are relatively unspectacular on paper. Probably the most notable stats for the Lightning would be that they are 27th in the league in penalty killing and 29th in penalties taken. Not a great combination. The 17 penalty minutes per game is a bit misleading, however, as they include a lot of misconducts and coincidental fighting majors (forward Zenon Konopka has 9 majors and 3 misconducts and leads the league with 93 penalty minutes). In actuality, both teams average 4.2 times shorthanded per game.

A depressing stat to help your Monday get off on the correct foot: the Lightning are averaging about 600 more people per game this year in attendance.



Colorado Tampa Bay
7th 33 Points  19th 28
10th 2.96 GF/G  18th 2.75
21st 2.93 GA/G  15th 2.79
20th 19.4 PP%  16th 20.2
16th 79.6 PK%  27th 76.2
30th 25.9 S/G 26th 27.8
26th 32.7 SA/G 23rd 31.8
29th 46.6 FO%  11th 51.3
12th 13.1 PIM/G  29th 17.0
Stastny 25 pts Top Scorer Stamkos 29 pts



Raw Charge

Avalanche vs Lightning coverage

Today in Colorado Avalanche History: 2007. Subbing for an injured Joe Sakic, TJ Hensick makes his NHL debut in San Jose.