Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NHL Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning (34-16-2) at Colorado Avalanche (28-19-4)


Lightning 3 at Dallas 1
The Tampa Bay Lightning collected a second-straight victory with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center…The Bolts swept the season series vs. DAL after collecting a 5-4 win in overtime Nov. 15 at AMALIE Arena…The Lightning improved to 34-16-2 on the season with a road record of 13-12-0…Following a scoreless first period, Anthony Cirelli opened the scoring at the 10:13 mark of the second period when he took a pass from Brandon Hagel and beat Scott Wedgewood with a move to the backhand for his fourth goal of the season…Alex Killorn picked up his 24th assist of the season with the secondary helper on Cirelli’s game-opening goal…Jamie Benn quickly tied the game for DAL with his 21st goal of the year just 2:05 after Cirelli opened the scoring…With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Victor Hedman took a pass from Killorn and skated around the DAL net before sending a pass to front of the net that Cirelli got a stick on to score his second goal of the night and give the Bolts a 2-1 lead with 43.2 seconds remaining…Hedman collected his 500th career assist on Cirelli’s gamewinning goal…Hagel added an empty-net goal with less than one second remaining with Nikita Kucherov and Cirelli recording the helpers…Andrei Vasilevskiy got the start in goal for Tampa Bay and earned his 25th win of the season with 29 saves on 30 shots against…Mikhail Sergachev skated in his 408th career game with the Lightning, tying him with Jassen Cullimore for the fourth-most games played by a defenseman in franchise history.

PP: TBL – 0-1 DAL – 0-4
SOG: TBL – 31 DAL – 29
Attendance: 18,532

The Lightning and the Avalanche are playing the second of two matchups this season and the only meeting at Ball Arena…The Bolts defeated COL with a resounding 5-0 win just five days ago Feb. 9 at AMALIE Arena…Tampa Bay became the fourth Stanley Cup finalist in NHL history to win their first game of a SCF rematch by a margin of five or more goals…Corey Perry opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 15:15 mark of the first period when he took a pass from Anthony Cirelli in front of the net and avoided a poke check from Alexander Georgiev before burying his 10th goal of the season on the backhand with Alex Killorn recording the secondary helper…Brandon Hagel doubled the Bolts lead at the 8:32 mark of the second period after Cirelli fought through two COL defenders and sent a cross-crease pass to Hagel, who scored his 20th goal of the season as Killorn picked up another secondary assist…Just 1:57 later, Brayden Point scored a power-play goal after Hagel won the puck down low and sent a pass in front for Nikita Kucherov, who fired a shot on goal before Point jumped on the rebound and buried his team-leading 32nd goal of the season…Hagel scored his second goal of the night with 1:53 remaining in the second period when he forced a Mikko Rantanen turnover that got picked up by Killorn, who dropped a pass to Hagel before he beat Georgiev for his 21st goal of the year…Mikhail Sergachev made it a 5-0 game at the 5:44 mark of the third period after taking a pass from Point at the blue line and firing a quick wrist shot that got through traffic and gave the Lightning a five-goal lead…Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his first shutout of the season with a perfect performance, making 30 saves on 30 shots against…Pat Maroon skated in his 700th career game…Steven Stamkos skated in his 973rd career game and passed Martin St. Louis to take sole possession of the second-most games played in Tampa Bay franchise history…The Lightning are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games at COL and 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings overall…Point has recorded points in four consecutive games vs. COL (3-3—6) with goals in three straight…Point has picked up points in four of his five career games at COL (2-3—5)…Kucherov has recorded points in three consecutive games vs. COL (2-1—3) and six of the last seven meetings (4-3—7)…Kucherov has scored a goal in four straight games at COL (4-1—5) and has points in six of eight career contests at COL (5-3—8)…Killorn has picked up points in eight of his last 10 games vs. COL (3-7—10)…Hagel has five points in his last two contests vs. COL (3-2—5)…Cirelli has pointed in four of his last six games vs. COL (1-4—5)…The Bolts penalty kill has killed off 46 of the last 50 COL power plays over the last 15 meetings (92%)…The Lightning are 17-5-5 with three ties all-time vs. COL, including a road record of 7-9-2 with two ties…Stamkos (8-7—15) holds the Tampa Bay franchise record for career goals and is tied with Killorn (4-11—15) for the most career points vs. COL.

T1. Alex Killorn – 15 pts. (4-11—15, 17 GP)
T1. Steven Stamkos – 15 pts. (8-7—15, 20 GP)

  1. Victor Hedman – 14 pts. (2-12—14, 21 GP)
  2. Tyler Johnson – 12 pts. (6-6—12, 14 GP)
    T5. Nikita Kucherov – 11 pts. (5-6—11, 16 GP)

Tampa Bay is playing the second game of a four-game road trip tonight…The Bolts will play seven of their 12 games in February on the road…The Lightning are 10-2-0 against Central Division opponents and 18-6-1 against the Western Conference this season…The Bolts are 13-12-0 on the road this season…Tampa Bay has scored three or more goals in six of their last seven road games and 13 of their last 14 games overall…The Lightning have failed to score a powerplay goal in six consecutive road games…The Bolts are 10-4-1 in their last 15 games against Western Conference opponents…Tampa Bay is 3-6-1 with two ties all-time on Valentine’s Day.

2022-23 Regular Season Man Games Lost: 93
Current Injuries:
Nick Paul (Upper-body injury; Day-to-day) 2 Games

Jan. 30 – Recalled D Nick Perbix from AHL Syracuse
Jan. 30 – Re-assigned F Rudolfs Balcers to AHL Syracuse
Jan. 29 – Assigned D Nick Perbix to AHL Syracuse
Jan. 29 – Recalled F Rudolfs Balcers from AHL Syracuse


7:08 p.m.
Altitude, Sportsnet, TVA / 92.5 FM
The Colorado Avalanche takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Ball Arena … This is the Avalanche’s first home game since Jan. 28, some 17 days ago … Tonight is the second meeting in six days between the Avs and Lightning (Tampa won 5-0 this past Thursday night at AMALIE Arena) … Tonight’s contest is the first half of a back-to-back for the Avs, who play in Minnesota tomorrow night …. In fact, each of Colorado’s next six games will take place as part of a back-to-back set … All three back-to-backs will require travel in between (either home/road or road/home) and all three opponents on the second half of the back-to-back will be waiting for the Avs … The Avs are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.

Feb. 11 – Colorado 5, Florida 3 at FLA Live Arena
Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and added an assist to lift the Avalanche past the Florida Panthers, 5-3, at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise … Logan O’Connor tallied a shorthanded goal, Matt Nieto and Devon Toews also scored and J.T. Compher and Mikko Rantanen each added two assists … Alexandar Georgiev made 42 saves … The two teams combined for 95 shots, with Colorado setting a season high with 50 … The Avs went 1-for-3 on the power play and killed all four Panthers’ power plays while also scoring a shorthanded goal.
SF: 50 SA: 45 PP: 1-3 PK: 4-4

The win was the club’s 700th regular season road victory in franchise history The Avalanche improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games Colorado’s 50 shots were a season high … It marked only the second time since the Avalanche relocated that they’ve had 50+ shots in a ROAD game (also last season at Philadelphia, Dec. 6, 2021) The 95 combined shots by the Avalanche (50) and Panthers (45) were the most in an NHL game since April 6, 2019 (98 by Toronto/Montreal) … It was the most combined shots in a single game in Avalanche history and the second-most in franchise history behind the 99 by Quebec (26) and Boston (73) on Mar. 21, 1991 at Boston Garden MacKinnon recorded his 47th career game-winning tally, tying Michel Goulet for the third most in franchise history O’Connor’s shorthanded goal was his second of the season and third of his career … He leads the Avalanche with three shorthanded points (2g/1a) this year after pacing the team with four SH points last season Compher’s two helpers gave him 22 assists for the year, a new career high (20 in 2019-20) … He is one point shy of matching his career best in that category set last year Nieto’s goal was his 10th of the season, giving him double-digit goals for the fourth time in his career … It’s his most tallies since scoring a career-high 15 with the Avalanche in 2017-18 Georgiev’s 42 saves marked his second-highest total of this season (44 at NY Rangers on Oct. 25) … He improved to 5-1-0 in his last six appearances

Pavel Francouz – lower body
Darren Helm – lower body (Jan. 14 – present)
Erik Johnson – lower body
Gabriel Landeskog – lower body (Oct. 12 – present)
Cale Makar – head (Feb. 9 – present)
Josh Manson – lower body (Dec. 3 – present)
Total: 291 (3rd in NHL)

Feb. 14 – Brad Hunt, Ben Meyers recalled from Colorado (AHL) … Erik Johnson placed on IR (retroactive to Feb. 11)
Feb. 13 – Jonas Johansson recalled from the Colorado Eagles (AHL)
Feb. 12 – Brad Hunt cleared waivers and was reassigned to the Colorado Eagles (AHL)
Feb. 11 – Brad Hunt placed on waivers
Feb. 7 – Bowen Byram activated from Injured Reserve

The Avalanche and Lightning meet for the second time in six days tonight at Ball Arena … Tampa Bay defeated Colorado 5-0 this past Thursday at AMALIE Arena in what was the first meeting between these two teams since Game 6 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final (June 26, 2022) … Colorado is 11-5-4 at home against Tampa Bay since relocating from Quebec (13-6-4 including playoffs) … In addition to winning the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, the Avs beat the Lightning twice during the 2021-22 regular season, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2009-10.

Feb. 9 @ Tampa Bay (L, 0-5)
Feb. 14 vs. TAMPA BAY

Overall: 0-1-0 Overall: 2-0-0 Overall: 25-19-6 Overall: 20-14-6 Series: 1 (1-0)
Home: — Home: 1-0-0 Home: 15-6-4 Home: 11-5-4 Record: 4-2
Road: 0-1-0 Road: 1-0-0 Road: 10-13-2 Road: 9-9-2 Last: 2022 Cup Final (W, 4-2)

The Avalanche are 5-5-1 all-time on Valentine’s Day, 2-2-1 at home and 3-3-0 on the road … Tonight marks the first time that Colorado has hosted a Valentine’s Day game since 2018 … Prior to the franchise relocating, the Nordiques were 2-7-0 on Feb. 14.
Feb. 14, 1999 PHILADELPHIA T, 4-4
Feb. 14, 2004 at Detroit W, 5-2
Feb. 14, 2008 vs. ST. LOUIS L, 1-4
Feb. 14, 2011 vs. CALGARY L, 1-9
Feb. 14, 2013 at Minnesota W, 4-2 SO
Feb. 14, 2015 vs. DALLAS W, 4-1
Feb. 14, 2016 at Buffalo L, 1-4
Feb. 14, 2017 at New Jersey L, 2-3
Feb. 14, 2018 vs. MONTREAL W, 2-0
Feb. 14, 2019 at Winnipeg W, 4-1
Feb. 14, 2021 at Vegas L, 0-1

Each of Colorado’s next six games will come as part of a back-to-back … All three back-to-backs will require travel in between (either home/road or road/home) and all three opponents on the second half of the back-to-back will be waiting for the Avs … Colorado, which will play 13 back-to-back contests overall this year, owns a 3-2-0 record in the first game and 3-2-0 in the second … The Avalanche swept their most recent back-to-back in Vancouver/Seattle from Jan. 20-21 … The Avalanche posted a 15-5-2 (.727) combined record in back-to-back games last season, the second-best mark behind Minnesota (.732, 19-6-3) … The Avs finished 7-3-1 in the first game and 8-2-1 in the second (.773), with only Tampa (10-0-2, .917) posting a better record in the second half of a back-to-back.

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