Colorado Avalanche (6-0-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2-1)
Time: 5:00 pm Central Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: Altitude, SUN
Opponent SBNation Site: Raw Charge
The Avs are closing out their Florida vacation in late October with a dance with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning won the Presidents Trophy last year, but have started this season without the same punch as they did last year. Nevertheless, this will still be a challenge for the Burgundy and Blue as the Lightning are starting to heat up after an awful start to the season.
The Avalanche are on fire to start the season, having yet to lose in regulation this season and sit second in the NHL. However, this will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Avs, after having to go to overtime to beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 last night. Rest and recovery will be key against a unrelenting and deep Lightning squad.
Nathan MacKinnon gave us a scare yesterday after he didn’t take part in the morning skate, threatening to miss the game due to an undisclosed injury. Luckily, MacK quelled those fears by 21:36, getting five shots on net, and scoring the overtime winner. He’s just fine.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Colin Wilson - Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher
Matt Calvert - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Matt Nieto
Scratched: Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Cale Makar
Ian Cole - Ryan Graves
Scratched: Mark Barberio
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have very much not started the season the way they performed on the whole last year. They are 30th in shots per game, 29th in shot share, and 27th in penalty kill. On the whole team defense is down for the Lightning and it’s made life for their goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, not easy.
For a team with massive standards on the power play, having the 9th best conversion rate is very disappointing. Looking at their shot charts, their shot frequency is low, and the shots they are getting are from the perimeter, not the slot shots they were used to last year.
This is not to say that tonight will be easy pickings for the Avalanche. More likely these two teams are on even footing right now and should hopefully give us some really good and exciting hockey on a Saturday evening.
Steven Stamkos - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Yanni Gourde
Patrick Maroon - Carter Verhaeghe - Luke Witkowski
Injured: Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman - Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh - Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev
Scratched: Jan Rutta
Philipp Grubauer won the game last night and will likely get the baseball cap and clipboard for this game. Pavel Francouz will make his second start of the season. His first outing was a 34-save win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Lightning will have their starter in net. Vasilevskiy is coming off a 34-save effort against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Tampa’s backup is Curtis McElhinney, just in case.