Tampa Bay Lightning (25-24-7) at Colorado Avalanche (16-38-2)
|Date & Time||Sunday February 19, 2017, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +140 / Tampa Bay Lightning -155 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Colorado Avalanche look for a rare victory at home as they welcome the Tampa Bat Lightning to town on Sunday.
The Lightning look to continue their recent success against the Western Conference as they can claim their fifth win in their last six tries as they take on a Colorado side that has been horrible this season and are likely to land the top overall draft pick in the offseason. Tampa hasn’t been a whole lot better though as they have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments as they are well back of the playoff picture and have dropped their last four Sunday games heading into today’s game against the Avs. The loss of Steven Stamkos was a huge blow for the Bolts who haven’t been able to get their offense clicking and with the expansion draft coming in the offseason and Tyler Johnson perhaps being unprotected the Lightning could be forced into a full rebuild. Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to get the call as he will face off against Calvin Pickard.
The Avalanche meanwhile haven’t been able to find any consistency this season and they have been a mess since the first puck drop of the season that all started with Patrick Roy parting ways with the teams just weeks before the season started. Colorado does have some very nice pieces that are highly coveted by many teams looking for a rental player and forward Matt Duchene is expected to be on the move before the trade deadline and he would certainly yield a heavy return as he has the talent to be among a top six forward crop on any team in the NHL. Gabriel Landeskog has also been in trade discussions but is much less likely to get shipped as he still has four years left on his deal and is the team captain so having some consistency in the dressing room is very important.
The Bolts are 3-7 in their last 10 against the Central and 4-15 in their last 19 road games while the Avs are 1-5 in their last six against the Eastern Conference and 7-25 in their last 32 home games. Tampa is a big favourite here on the road for no good reason as both teams have struggled and to be honest I like the Avs here at plus value as a home dog.