How to watch Avalanche vs. Lightning Game 3: Stanley Cup Finals time, TV channel, FREE stream. The Colorado Avalanche have dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning so far in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but now the series switches to Amalie Arena for Game 3 on Monday, June 20 (6/20/2022) at 8 p.m. ET.
The Avalanche shut out the Lightning 7-0 in Game 2, and is now behind Colorado 2-0 for the series. It was a baffling result for a team that has won 10 of its last 12 games against two of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL.
The Lightning now have a chance to regain ground in front of the home crowd in Tampa. Some pundits are suggesting that Denver’s thin air may be impacting the Lightning’s play. If that’s the case, the change in venue should benefit Tampa Bay in more ways that one, but if they lose again on Monday night, they’ll be on the brink of elimination.
Here’s how to watch.
What: Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3
Who: Avalanche @ Lightning
When: Monday, June 20
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
It’s no secret Tampa Bay has played more hockey over the past two years than any other team in the NHL.
That may — finally — be taking a toll on the two-time defending champ Lightning against the Colorado Avalanche, who took a much shorter route to the Stanley Cup Final and lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 going into Game 3 on Monday in Tampa.
“The shot blocking, the groins, the hips, the cuts, the bruises, playing every second night: That’s the toll,” coach Jon Cooper said Sunday. “And so when you get to the end, even though it doesn’t look like they’re banged up, they’re missing guys, we’re missing guys. We’ve got banged-up guys. That’s what the playoff toll does. It’s not what happened last year.”
What happened last year was the Lightning became the second franchise since the salary cap era began in 2005 to win the Cup back-to-back. This year, they beat Toronto in seven games, swept Florida and advanced to the final by coming back to beat the New York Rangers in six.
Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning score: Live updates of Game 3
Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) is currently sitting as a pick’em across the betting market, meaning it could be the first game of the postseason that the Avalanche do not close as the chalk. No team in the Action Labs database (which goes back to 2005) has made it this far into the Stanley Cup Playoffs without closing as an underdog at least once.
And it does seem pretty surprising that this would be the game to end Colorado’s streak. The Avs have dominated the first two games of the series, outscoring the Bolts 11-3 overall and 7-3 at even strength. There’s been nothing flukey about the performance either, as the Avs have a decided edge in shot attempts (139-89), shots on goal (68-39), expected goals (6.1 to 2.8) and high-danger scoring chances (26-13).
Usually, when a team blows the doors off its opponent like Colorado did to Tampa in Game 2, the betting market will adjust towards the team that did the dominating. But on this occasion, it’s actually the Lightning who seem a little expensive considering what we’ve seen in the first two games of this best-of-7.
For that to happen, the Lightning will need to improve drastically in their own zone. When the Bolts are at their best, they are a detail-oriented team that plays a well-structured defensive game. Tampa Bay is perhaps the best team in the league at getting in shooting lanes and controlling traffic in front of its own net.
If that structure does break down, the Lightning have the game’s best goaltender to bail them out. Unfortunately for the Bolts, that structure has abandoned them so far in this series and Andrei Vasilevskiy has gotten off to a slow start in between the pipes.
With the onus on the defense to improve, it makes sense that Tampa will come out in Game 3 and try to establish a more prodding tempo. One of the keys to Colorado’s dominance is that the Avs have been able to find a couple of early goals in each contest, which forces the Lightning to open the game up and come out of their preferred defensive style. The Lightning have a -5 goal differential in the first period so far in this best-of-7 series, which is a recipe for disaster for a team that thrives in tight contests.