Underdog Lightning Extend Stanley Cup Series

NHL Tampa Bay And Avalanche

  • Palat continues as Tampa Bay offensive threat with Game 5 winner.
  • Lightning Cover Spread to extend Stanley Cup series.
  • Bolts alive and well after Game 5 victory.

Tampa Bay riding Unexpected Presence Through Postseason

After Wednesday night’s lack of a call for too many men on the ice on the Colorado Avalanche seemed to have all but ended a potential three-peat for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ondrej Palat was front row and center in Friday evening’s 3-2 win in Game 5.

At 13:38 in the third period:
The Avalanche were in control of the puck line with the (-1.5) spread as the favorite and much of that is explained in the fact that Colorado has outscored it’s opponents by 29 goals in the post season. Colorado is now 59-14 as the home betting favorite and the best prop bet on Friday night came off the bad of Colorado offensive juggernaut Nathan MacKinnon.

Palat hit Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper in the left knee pad and the puck trickled into the net as Palat once again paced the Lightning and allowed them to stave off elimination.

Palat took the game-winning shot between the two face-off circles, but he was more poised on the outside of the right circle and straight t in front of Keumper. The Czech native leads Tampa Bay now with 11 goals in the playoffs as he has also packed nine assists and is second on the team with 20 points. Right winger Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning with 27 points (8 goals/19 assists).

Palat’s marker was the 16th assist for Victor Hedman, who has been like a quarterback in the Tampa Bay offense as the defenseman is third in points with 19 and his 16 assists are second on the squad behind Kucherov’s 19.

Bolts’ Shoot Down Colorado’s Favorite Feel

The Colorado Avalanche have been favored on four of the five occasions in the Stanley Cup Championship series, but at (-200) on Friday evening, the Lightning staved off elimination with Palat’s late goal which penned a 3-2 Bolts’ win.

It was also the second game in a row where the total went under the precluded numeral of 6 goals.

As the game began, Colorado went in as a (-190) favorite on the money line while Tampa Bay posted a (+160) as the underdog. Whether you bet the Avalanche (-190) or (-200), it was Colorado’s best moneyline of the series so far as the Avs were set at (-145), (-150) and (-175) in coming into Game 5 as the favorite.

In addition:
The Avalanche were in control of the puck line with the (-1.5) spread as the favorite and much of that is explained in the fact that Colorado has outscored it’s opponents by 29 goals in the post season. Colorado is now 59-14 as the home betting favorite and the best prop bet on Friday night came off the bad of Colorado offensive juggernaut Nathan MacKinnon.

MacKinnon’s shot total was set at 4.5 and he blasted six pucks toward Tampa Bay goals Andrei Vasilevskiy. MacKinnon did not score, but he had an assist. His line on going OVER 4.5 shots was set at (-149) while his UNDER was a (+140).

Finally, a Tampa Bay Power Play Rises to the Forefront

Converting off of the power play has been nightmarish for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their third consecutive Stanley Cup appearance. However, Kucherov connected on a 4-on-3 at 8:10 in the second period to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

The Lightning never trailed in the game as Jan Rutta scored at the 15:23 mark in the opening period to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead off assists from Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachov. Tampa Bay has converted just 16 of 80 power-play opportunities, ninth of the 16 NHL playoff teams, in this season’s playoffs for 20 percent. Meanwhile, Colorado leads the NHL with 33.3 percent in posturing 20 of 60 power play opportunities. Colorado’s Valeri Nichuskin and Cale Makar scored to tie the game on each occasion before Palat’s game-winner.

The Avs outshot the Bolts, 37-29, and outhit Tampa Bay, 43-33. The Lightning, however, had a 40-34 advantage in winning face-offs.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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