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The Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning face off tonight for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Can Andrei Vasilevskiy make some saves tonight? Ben Rajavuori answers.

Avalanche vs. Lightning Best Bet: Should You Ride With Andrei Vasilevskiy In Game 1?

The Stanley Cup Finals are finally here. The Lightning have made another impressive run for their third straight year to the finals, while the Avalanche have finally exercised their playoff demons and have made it to the finals. The Avalanche made quick work of the Oilers, sweeping them in four games to give themselves some extra rest going into the finals.

The Lightning looked sluggish early in the series against the Rangers, going down 0-2 early. The Lightning quickly extinguished any doubt, winning the next four games to take the series in six games. Now the two best teams in the league face off in Colorado for game one. So what’s the best play for this game?

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: June 15, 2022

Time: 8 pm ET

Where to Watch: ABC, ESPN+

Click Here for Avalanche vs Lightning Game 1 Odds

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Avalanche vs. Lightning Game 1 Line Movement

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1 Prediction

Right off the bat, this game is hard to call. The Avalanche have more rest, but then comes the long-argued debate of rest versus rust. The Avalanche are a fast-playing team and rely on shot volume and their athleticism to overwhelm their opponents. That plays into the Lightning’s defensive strength and goalie play. Andrei Vasilevskiy is the best goalie the Avalanche will face in the playoffs, and they know they have to put up shots on shots on shots to beat him. This plays into my favorite bet for this game.

The Avalanche put up the fourth-most shots per game in the NHL in 2022 at 35. Vasilevskiy has had the pleasure of playing the Rangers for the past six games, who aren’t nearly as offensive and fast-paced as the Avalanche. Vasilevskiy's line for saves today is 33.5. Andrei has only hit this line is four of his 17 playoff games this season. However, three of these four came in the four games that he played against the Panthers, another high-powered offensive team.

The one miss against the Panthers, he had 33 saves. Andrei was 1-13 hitting over 33.5 saves against the other teams this postseason. With the long rest, the Avalanche had between series, I expect their already fast style of play to show up even faster and well-rested. The Avalanche averaged 35 shots on goal every game this season, and now they have a rest advantage over what should be another sluggish start for the Lightning in the series. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lightning won this game, but win or lose, I expect Andrei Vasilevskiy to have at least 34 saves.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 1 Best Bet

Play: Andrei Vasilevskiy O33.5 Saves @ -112 (Bet $112 to win $100)

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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