2022 Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Lightning vs. Avalanche

Do the Avalanche have what it takes to prevent the Lightning from claiming their third straight championship?

The Tampa Bay Lightning are back in the Stanley Cup Finals for the third consecutive season. But can the red-hot Colorado Avalanche end the Lightning’s NHL reign?

The 2022 Finals begin on Wednesday, June 15, and we’re looking at what to expect in the best-of-seven series.

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Lightning vs. Avalanche: Previous encounters

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche have never met in an NHL playoff series until now. Including Colorado’s time as the Quebec Nordiques, the two sides have faced off only 49 times in the regular season. The historical odds favor the Avalanche, who hold a 25–21–3 all-time series record against the Lightning.

During this past season, the two sides met twice. Colorado won on both occasions—securing a 4–3 overtime victory in October and a 3–2 win in February. The two games prove the Avalanche can win home and away against the current Lightning squad. But it wasn’t for lack of trying on Tampa Bay’s behalf—highlighting the back-and-forth excitement we may see in the Finals.

Lightning vs. Avalanche: What to expect

The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals marks the fifth championship appearance for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s an impressive stat, given that four of those appearances came within the last eight years.

For the Colorado Avalanche, this is the team’s first Stanley Cup Final since 2001—making the opportunity all the more enticing for Avs fans.

Like the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, the Lightning have a lot of playoff experience on hand. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy will all be crucial to Tampa Bay’s continued success. But a speedy, possession-heavy Colorado side could be the Lightning’s most difficult playoff opponent yet.

The Avalanche have had an incredible playoff run thus far. They swept Nashville and Edmonton—sustaining only two losses against St. Louis.

If this momentum holds for Colorado, the team could easily be on its way to overcoming its silverware drought. It’ll just need players like Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog to continue their top form for the Cup to come to Denver.

How to watch the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals

Every 2022 Stanley Cup Finals game will air on ABC and ESPN+. Spanish-language coverage will also be available on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes for the entire best-of-seven series.

ABC is easily accessible on most cable, satellite, and live TV streaming services. But you can avoid signing up for a TV plan and access your local ABC affiliate with an over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna.

2022 Stanley Cup Finals schedule

The grand finale of the 2021–2022 NHL season begins on Wednesday, June 15. If the series reaches Game 7, the winner will lift the Cup on Tuesday, June 28.

Game Date Time (ET) English channels Spanish channels
Game 1 June 15, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN+
Game 2 June 18, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN+
Game 3 June 20, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN Deportes
Game 4 June 22, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN Deportes
Game 5* June 24, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN Deportes
Game 6* June 26, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN+
Game 7* June 28, 2022 8:00 p.m. ABC, ESPN+ ESPN+

*If necessary.

Once the Finals are over, get ready for the next season by visiting our How to Watch the NHL Draft guide. Montréal hosts the draft, which begins Thursday, July 7.

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