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Game 1 Open Thread: Avalanche vs. Lightning (6:00 p.m.)

It’s a Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup gameday!

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning square off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay looks to win their third consecutive cup, while Colorado looks to win their third all-time. Colorado’s potent offense meets Tampa Bay’s defensive structure in a must-see heavy-weight showdown.

The story heading into this series has revolved around the performance and prowess of Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy and rightfully so. Vasilevskiy has 61 playoff victories and has posted a .925 SV% in 98 postseason appearances.

Projected Lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog — Nathan MacKinnon — Valeri Nichushkin
Arturri Lehkonen — Mikko Rantanen - Andre Burakovsky
Alex Newhook — JT Compher — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Nico Sturm — Darren Helm — Logan O’Connor

Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Jack Johnson — Josh Manson
Bowen Byram — Erik Johnson

Note: The Avalanche will likely be without forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano, whom both sustained hand injuries in the conference final against Edmonton.

Will Colorado be able to do what eleven straight teams have failed to do? Or will Lightning strike a third time in as many seasons? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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