Game 52 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche

The Lightning, victorious in the shootout on Thursday after coughing up its third lead in the midst of a tremendous third-period surge by the Senators, has a fellow upstart on the docket tonight with the Avalanche in town.

Two clubs picked 1st and 3rd overall in this past summer’s draft are now set to meet with both well-positioned for a return to postseason hockey, which must be a great source of exasperation for disenchanted supporters of the perpetually rebuilding Oilers franchise.

Having bested the Panthers last night after hanging on to outlast a furious comeback attempt last night, the Avalanche will be on the bookend of a back-to-back. Colorado, which still has a fresh aura about it after an off-season of significant changes, opened the season 16-4 before cooling off a bit over the next quarter of the season but has found another groove and is 7-2-1 over its last ten matches. Beyond their records to date, there are some striking similarities between the two clubs: rosters heavily-infused with young talents, balanced production and the regular starters on each club having career years in net.

The Avs are a bit of a curiosity, though, statistically, under new head coach Patrick Roy. Colorado hasn’t been particularly strong at even-strength in terms of possession but has emerged as one of the better-scoring teams. The special teams story is also intriguing: the club has spent among the lowest amounts of time on the power play but a slightly better-than-average shooting percentage has made for better-than-average efficiency while one of the best shorthanded save percentages and one of the lower totals spent at a disadvantage has helped mitigate the damage that might otherwise be done.

Perhaps Colorado has lived a bit high on the hog and will have a rougher go of things in the remaining balance of its schedule and, then again, maybe it won’t. Again, there are some quirks — minor warts — that are discernible but nothing, apart from the relatively low portion of shot attempts, to even raise the specter of a late-season collapse.

SEASON SERIES

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NOTES

STANDINGS

LIGHTNING AVALANCHE
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ACTIVE ROSTERS

LIGHTNING AVALANCHE
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STATPACK

LIGHTNING

TOTALS

TEAM POSSESSION & SCORING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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PLAYER SCORING
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RATES

TEAM POSSESSION & SCORING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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PERCENTAGES

TEAM POSSESSION, SCORING & SHOOTING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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AVALANCHE

TOTALS

TEAM POSSESSION & SCORING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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PLAYER SCORING
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RATES


TEAM POSSESSION & SCORING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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PERCENTAGES

TEAM POSSESSION, SCORING & SHOOTING
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GOALTENDING (ON-ICE)
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Team stats cited from Extra Skater

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