2022 Stanley Cup Final: Lightning vs. Avalanche odds, NHL picks, Game 4 prediction from proven hockey model
Stanley Cup Final Game 4 expert predictions: Betting preview, puckline, odds for Lightning vs. Avalanche
Avalanche vs Lightning Game 4 Picks and Predictions: Colorado Strikes Back
Amalie Arena hosts Game 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday evening. The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Colorado Avalanche in what projects as a pivotal matchup. Tampa Bay won Game 3 by a four-goal margin, picking up its first win of the series. Colorado won the first two games at home, with the Avalanche aiming to secure the large advantage that would arrive with a 3-1 series lead.
The demise of the Lightning might have been overstated. Tampa Bay bounced back in Game 3 to beat the Avalanche 6-2 and set up a critical Game 4 on Wednesday night in Tampa. There are plenty of storylines to go around for this game that will see the Lightning either even the series at 2-2 or hand the Avalanche a chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice on Friday night.
Tampa Bay pulled its way back into the Stanley Cup Final with a dominant Game 3 win. With Colorado now in need of a response, what do the Avalanche have in store vs. the Lightning? Find out with our NHL betting picks for Game 4.
Will Avalanche coach Jared Bednar elect to start backup goalie Pavel Francouz over starter Darcy Kuemper in Game 4? Kuemper struggled in Game 3 before getting pulled in the second period and he hasn’t been at his best during these playoffs. Francouz is 6-0 in these playoffs with a .906 save percentage while Kuemper’s .892 save percentage is below par.
For Tampa Bay, the injuries are starting to pile up. Lightning star Nikita Kucherov picked up a lower-body injury late in Game 3 when the game was over and he missed the final minutes of the game. Brayden Point missed Game 3 and isn’t likely to play in Game 4 after not playing at his usual level in the first two games of this series. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said he expects Kucherov to play in Game 4 and Point is doubtful.
Opening face-off is at 8 p.m. ET in Tampa. Both teams are listed at -110 (risk $110 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Avalanche vs. Lightning odds from Caesars Sportsbook. The over-under for total goals scored is six. Before making any Lightning vs. Avalanche picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates each NHL game 10,000 times. It enters the second week of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on a 23-18 run on its top-rated NHL side picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.
The Tampa Bay Lightning turned the tables on the Colorado Avalanche in a 6-2 win at home in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. After a 7-0 loss in Game 2, the Bolts returned home and chased the Avs' starting goalie, Darcy Kuemper, in a lopsided win to make this a series.
Can the Avalanche correct the handful of defensive miscues from Monday or will they continue to be hurt by their sub-par goaltending?
Now, the model has its sights on Avs vs. Lightning. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds and betting trends for Lightning vs. Avs:
Avalanche vs. Lightning Game 4 preview
A quick pause, if we may, to acknowledge our esteemed panel of pickers in these NHL playoffs. But please don’t tell them I said “esteemed” in their regard because it’s the Writer’s Code to rag on each other as much as possible (Kurz, my dude, you’re in the red here. What is this, fantasy camp?). But shoutout to Jesse Granger for pacing the field. You flipped coins better than the rest. Sean McIndoe is on his heels, but time is running out. It’s gonna be close.
Now to the ice. You’ll notice that while the Avalanche retain the advantage through seven games, Game 4 is a straight toss-up. Of course it is. This series was never going to be a wash. Colorado fans, two days ago was the correct time to pump the breaks on the parade train. No team, not even one as stacked as the Avs, was going to pop a seven-spot on Andrei Vasilevskiy in multiple games. He’s too good, too experienced, too immune to the wild swings of the playoffs to be too affected by one blowout. He showed that in Game 3.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper pointed his team in the exact correct direction after the series returned to Tampa Bay. Let’s compare the activity between Games 2 and 3. Skip Corsi on this one, because a simple explanation will suffice. The Avs in Game 2 put up 30 shots on goal and scored seven. In Game 3, their rate increased. They put up 39 shots on goal and scored just twice.
Reverse engineer those numbers and you can see a hint at what Cooper and the Lightning are up to. It would have been easy to say, ‘Hey, we just got stomped on for seven goals, we should slow down the game and limit those shots, because if they don’t shoot, they can’t score.’ But that’s not what Tampa Bay did. Instead, they increased their own action. They sped up the game. They more than doubled their shot output from Game 2 to 3, from 16 to 33.
It’s a wild over-simplification, sure, but the Bolts’ best defense is a good offense. This is the best way to let Vasy shine. Let him see shots. Make Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper (or Pavel Francouz) match him shot-for-shot. If a game is going to be a shootout, who would you rather have in net? The choice is clear.
It’s a tight line to skate, though. The Avs are still capable of scoring in flurries. Maybe that disallowed goal early in Game 3 would have turned into two more in a hurry. We’ll never know.
The Bolts saved their series and more in Game 3. They not only held court at home, they won handily, in a way that might have erased the memory of the Game 2 blowout. The Avs’ train hasn’t slowed, but Tampa Bay is back on track.
It’s a series again. fgdgdfhgfgh