COLORADO AT TAMPA BAY, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, ALT, 950 AM
Spotlight on: Mikhail Sergachev. The Lightning’s 19-year-old defenseman has six goals, showing the elite ability to join the rush and be a responsible defender. Sergachev was acquired from Montreal during the offseason in a trade for young forward Jonathan Drouin, giving Tampa Bay a puck-moving defenseman to play with veteran blue liners Victor Hedman, Braydon Coburn, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi. Sergachev, a Russian, was the second defenseman selected and ninth player overall in the 2016 draft, just before the Avalanche chose forward Tyson Jost at No. 10.
Avalanche — Colorado, which is 4-7-1 on the road, didn’t practice Wednesday before flying to Tampa. The Avs will have a morning skate at Amalie Arena, where they won 4-0 a year ago. … As of Monday, Colorado had the NHL’s third-youngest roster with an average age of 25.4 years old. Arizona had the youngest (25.0), followed by Columbus (25.2). … Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic will meet his team during the East Coast trip after attending the NHL’s board of governors meetings near Pebble Beach, Calif.
Lightning — It is 2-0 on a four-game homestand. The Bolts defeated San Jose 5-2 on Saturday and the New York Islanders 6-2 on Tuesday. They are 11-2-1 at home. … Tampa Bay is tied with the Islanders in scoring a league-high 101 goals, and the Lighting is first in goal-differential at plus-32. Forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are first and second in NHL scoring, respectively, with 40 and 38 points. Kucherov is second behind Russian countryman Alex Ovechkin of Washington with 19 goals; Ovechkin has 20.