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Avalanche Vs. Lightning: Top Young Offenses Square Off In Tampa

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The Southeast road trip continues for Colorado tonight as they square off against one of the most exciting teams in the league.

Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses in their previous games. Colorado lost a close game in Carolina last night after dominating the first period of the game and squandering three straight power plays in the second period. Carolina goalie Cam Ward proved too much for the young Avalanche squad, who saw scoring chance after scoring chance turned away.

Tampa Bay has seen a breakout offensive campaign this year, proving that young 20-year-old phenom Steven Stamkos is one of the blossoming superstars in the NHL. Paired with the always-electric Martin St. Louis, the Lightning have become one of the can't-miss teams in the league.

These two teams rank at the top of the leaderboard in Total Goals Per Game, with the Avalanche games averaging 6.48 total goals. Tampa Bay ranks second, at 6.42 total goals per game. What does this mean? Expect an offensive explosion and very little effective defense as these two teams share the ice, playing an up-tempo style of play they both prefer.

Colorado is planning on giving goalie Craig Anderson a night off tonight after his stellar work in Carolina on Friday, choosing to put Peter Budaj in net to face the Tampa Bay barrage. The Lightning will place goalie Dan Ellis between the pipes, though he has struggled this season with an .888 save percentage.

The puck drops tonight at 5:30pm MDT.

Read more at Mile High Hockey.