Amalie Arena Tampa

Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning Pick & Prediction, Sat Oct 23 07:00 PM

NHL | HOCKEY
TV: ALT | BSN
Logo Colorado Avalanche
VS
Logo Tampa Bay Lightning
6
OPENNER
-1.5

6o -114
CURRENT
1.5 -290

-105
MONEYLINE
-115

4
SCORE
3

Winless on home ice in their first two games, the Tampa Bay Lightning are suffering through a pronounced power outage.

The Stanley Cup champions will try to get back on track Saturday night when they host Colorado as the Avalanche conclude their lone trip to the Sunshine State.

In its second home contest, Tampa Bay succumbed to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, losing 4-1 after its in-state rival found the net three times in the final period.

The Lightning's biggest problem was an unproductive power play that went 0-for-6, including a 94-second five-on-three advantage in the first period that could have changed the direction of the scoreless affair.

"(The power play) is going to be a work in progress," said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper, whose squad has been outscored 10-3 at home and has not scored a first-period goal yet this season. "Tonight, it was the difference in the game."

The power-play unit is 3-for-15 overall (20 percent) and a punchless 0-for-7 at its home rink.

While the absence of first power-play sniper Nikita Kucherov (lower-body injury, out indefinitely) was a major part of Tuesday's lack of production, the goal shortage extends to the bottom six as well.

After losing the entire third line of Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde and Barclay Goodrow in the offseason, plus Tyler Johnson, the replacement group has struggled to score.

Pat Maroon, Ross Colton and Mathieu Joseph filled the spot against Florida, while the fourth line featured Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh -- the latter two rookie wingers.

The six forwards have combined to generate just a goal and an assist.

Also, newcomer Corey Perry -- elevated to the top line in place of Kucherov -- has not posted a point and is a minus-5 for the season, worst among Tampa Bay's forwards.

The Lightning assigned defenseman Cal Foote (finger surgery) to AHL affiliate Syracuse for a conditioning stint Friday.

A popular preseason pick to hoist the next Stanley Cup, the Avalanche are off to slow start with three straight losses and arrive by the bay having been humbled 4-1 by the Panthers Thursday night in South Florida.

For Colorado to achieve the lofty expectations some predicted, the club will need much better play from its superstars.

Gabriel Landeskog played in his first match since serving a two-game suspension for cross-checking Chicago forward Kirby Dach and registered a minus-2 showing.

After each going a brutal minus-5 in Tuesday's 6-3 defeat against the Capitals in Washington, forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen both posted minus-2 efforts against the undefeated Panthers, though Rantanen did pot his second goal and MacKinnon added an assist.

Landeskog, Colorado's captain, said he is not concerned with losing three of four after the NHL returned to a full 82-game schedule.

"I mean, we've got 78 games left," said Landeskog. "That's a lot of hockey. Start with one, and obviously playing another tough opponent here in a couple of days (at Tampa Bay).

"There's no secret formula, right? We've got to work and that's what we are doing and what we are trying to do."

Rantanen and J.T. Compher pace the Avalanche with two goals, and the duo along with Nazem Kadri each have produced a team-best four points.

Darcy Kuemper (1-2-0, 3.79 GAA) has manned the net in three games and should return against the Lightning after Jonas Johansson made his season debut Tuesday. He is expected to take on Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy (2-2, 3.22).

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Colorado Avalanche
2
3
Tampa Bay Lightning

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tyson Jost notched his first career hat trick, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, and the visiting Colorado Avalanche kept rolling with a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

Pavel Francouz stopped 44 shots in his second career start and Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche, who remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. Colorado has won seven of its first eight games, with the one loss coming in overtime at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon, who had an assist, extended their points streak to eight games to start the season. Colin Wilson had three assists and J.T. Compher had two for Colorado. The Avalanche have earned seven of a possible eight points to begin their six-game road trip.

Yanni Gourde and Victor Hedman scored goals, Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 18 saves for the Lightning. Tampa Bay returned home following a 3-2-1 road trip but lost despite outshooting Colorado 46-24.

The Avalanche were coming off a 5-4 overtime win over the Florida Panthers in Miami on Friday night but had a quick start against the Lightning. Jost scored 3:09 into the game when he converted a turnover into a 1-0 lead.

Tampa Bay tied it late in the period on Gourde's first goal of the season but Colorado took control with three quick goals in the second.

Jost scored his second of the night at the 3:17 mark, Landeskog made it 3-1 with his third goal of the season at 5:48 and Jost completed the hat trick with his fourth goal of the season just 18 seconds later. He and Compher got behind the Lightning defense, and Compher fed Jost for an easy tap in.

It stayed 4-1 into the third period, then Kadri got his third of the season at 6:30, and Hedman answered with his first goal at 11:48.

Rantanen added his team-leading fifth of the year at 14:27 to end the scoring.

--Field Level Media

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