It’ll be a rematch of the 2022 Cup Final on Monday when the Colorado Avalanche host the Tampa Bay Lightning, and both teams are still very relevant just 17 months later.
The Avalanche are on a 6-1 run after a tough stretch, while the Lightning are 4-0-1 in their last five games and are averaging five goals a night during their run. Their deadly powerplay has contributed a lot of their offense of late, and it’s a powerplay the Avalanche will have to be ready for.
“To me, it’s the best powerplay in the league. Has been for years, or one of them,” Jared Bednar said after morning skate. “They got all the right players in the right spots, and they’re all super talented, super dangerous as passers and shooters. They don’t waste any time zipping the puck around, so if you make a mistake on your positioning, and it could be a matter of inches, they’ll make you pay for it.”
Colorado’s powerplay is on a decent run right now, with goals in each of their last seven games. If they’re without Nathan MacKinnon on Monday night, that streak may be in danger, though. MacKinnon missed morning skate, and his status tonight is in question.
Alexandar Georgiev, fresh haircut and all, will be in net for the Avalanche against the Lightning. At the other end will be Andrei Vasilevsky. He recently returned from back surgery, and will be making just his second start of the season on Monday. Former Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johanssen held down the fort as long as he could before Vasilevsky was able to return.
The Lightning are led by the top scorer in the NHL, Nikita Kucherov. The Russian winger is on fire right now, and has racked up a whopping 18 powerplay points in just 20 games.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Valeri Nichushkin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Tomas Tatar – Ryan Johansen – Jonathan Drouin
Miles Wood – Ross Colton – Logan O’Connor
Andrew Cogliano – Fredrik Olofsson – Joel Kiviranta
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Bowen Byram – Josh Manson
Jack Johnson – Caleb Jones
Expected Tampa Bay Lightning Lineup
Hagel – Point – Kucherov
Stamkos – Cirelli – Eyssimont
Jeannot – Paul – Motte
Koepke – Glendening – Watson
Hedman – Perbix
Sergachev – Cernak
De Haan – Raddysh
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 19.9%, 19th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 87.5%, 5th in NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play: 34.7%, 2nd in NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning Penalty Kill: 84.4%, 10th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: Altitude TV, ESPN+
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Radio
Game Time: 7:00 PM MST