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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: Taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning

The Avs are hot, while the bolts are getting hot.

Colorado Avalanche v Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 08: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning clears the puck during a game against the Colorado Avalanche at Amalie Arena on December 8, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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.

Colorado Avalanche

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.