Tampa Bay Lightning (36-18-6) at Colorado Avalanche (25-23-11)
|Date & Time||Sunday February 22, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +110 / Tampa Bay Lightning -121 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Lightning look for their second win in as many nights as they travel from Arizona to Colorado to battle with the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
The Tampa Bay Lightning held off a late surge from the Arizona Coyotes in the desert last night and added to their impressive win total and now sit a single point back of the Montreal Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic division. The Bolts put up four goals last night to move to 199 on the season putting them in first place in the league in that category as they have netted four more than the New York Islanders and at this pace the Bolts are on pace to approach the 270 goal mark which in this NHL is a huge number that should comfortably lead all teams. The Lightning have done well in the defensive zone as well this season and much better than the get credit for as their +37 goal differential ranks them in second place in the Eastern Conference and sixth in the NHL and if they can continue top play the way they have during the regular season come playoff time than it could be very tough to beat them in a seven game series. Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the nod in goal as he will go up against Semyon Varlamov.
The Avalanche are fighting tooth and nail in hopes of landing a spot in the Western Conference playoffs but they have an uphill battle to climb as we approach the three quarter mark of the regular season as they sit seven points back of the Flames for the second wild card spot. Colorado has had a bit of a disappointing season based on preseason expectations and while many thought they would regress from last year's division crown they were still expected to be in the mix and certainly a shoe in for playoff hockey but Patrick Roy's crew could very well be on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason this year. Colorado has about a week left to get themselves back into a position to make the playoffs or they could end up being sellers at the trade deadline and with some of the guys on their roster seen as big time trade chips it wouldn't be a big surprise to see them land with playoff contenders. The Avs need a win here but I am not sold on them and Vasilevskiy has been great between the pipes and I think Tampa continues to roll and they get the victory here.