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Game 9 Preview: Avs @ Lightning

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The Colorado Avalanche (2-5-1) continue a three-game road trip against the Lightning (5-3-2).

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night's game against the Panthers may not have panned out as bad as the score may have indicated, but the result was still the same for the Avalanche: another one is the loss category. That's now four consecutive games without a win. Despite controlling the game at even strength, the Avs struggled to find the back of the net and were saved by a late Landeskog goal to avoid being shut out. The flaw in the Avs' game was their special teams. Usually an area of strength for the Avalanche (the Avs entered Tuesday night's game ranked in the top-five in both power play and penalty killing percentage), the Avs saw the Panthers collect four goals while a player was in the box (three on the power play and one short handed). While that may be alarming, it is just one game, and the Avs did dominate the game 5-on-5. The biggest concern remains the goal scoring production. After opening the season with ten goals in two games, the Avs have only managed their second string of ten over the course of six games. That kind of offensive production is unacceptable for a team loaded with so many young offensive stars.

The Avs opponent Thursday night is the Tampa Bay Lightning. The reigning Eastern Conference champions are going through their own offensive struggle of late. They come in off the coattails of two road shutouts in Chicago and St. Louis. They'll hope that their home crowd can reignite the offense of their young core.

LINES

Patrick Roy will again mix up the forward lines in an attempt to render some production.

Tanguay-MacKinnon-Iginla

Landeskog-Duchene-Skille

Everberg-Soderberg-Comeau

McLeod-Mitchell-Grigorenko

Beauchemin-Johnson

Holden-Barrie

Zadorov-Guenin

Varlamov

Berra

Scratches: Stuart, Gormley

NOTES

- After scoring a league best 13 goals in the playoffs en route of a Stanley Cup Finals appearance for the Lightning, Tyler Johnson is still without a goal through ten games of the regular season.

- After going 0-for-5 on the power play Tuesday, the Avs power play percentage has dropped from 5th place in the NHL to 11th. The penalty kill dropped from 5th to 16th after allowing three power play goals to the Panthers.

- Last time these two teams met, Nathan MacKinnon scored his first NHL hat trick.

GAME INFO

Game time: 5:30pm MT

TV: ALT