A pair of teams that have started the season off strongly, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the San Jose Sharks collide at the SAP Center in an East-West tilt. The opening face-off is at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 8, and you will be able to see it live on NBC Sports Network.
Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks Odds
Tampa Bay (-105) is entering this one as the underdog to San Jose (-115), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-125 for the over, +105 for the under). Those lines have moved after initially opening at -110 for both.
Tampa Bay is 11-4 straight up (SU) and has earned 5.7 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 15 regular season outings, nine of its games have gone over the total, while six have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Lightning team is 4-2 SU on the road.
Tampa Bay currently has the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 28.8 percent of its extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, it has the ninth-best penalty kill in the league, and it’s successfully killed off 82.5 percent of its penalties.
Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been sent to the penalty box 4.7 times per game during the 2017-18 season. Last year, that number was the third-highest mark in the league at 4.3 penalties per game. After serving an average of 10.7 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team has had to kill penalties for 10.1 minutes per outing this year.
Sporting a .924 save percentage and 31.1 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (11-2-1) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If Tampa Bay decides to rest him, however, they could go with Peter Budaj (0-2-1), who has a .855 save percentage and 4.00 goals against average this year.
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov will both be relied on to produce for the visiting Lightning. Stamkos has 25 points on seven goals and 18 assists, and has recorded two or more points eight times. Kucherov has 14 goals and nine assists to his credit (and has notched at least one point in 12 games).
Over on the other bench, San Jose is 8-5 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.8 units this year. Nine of its games have gone under the total, while three have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 5-3 SU at home this season.
San Jose has converted on 18.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked second overall, and it’s successfully killed off 89.6 percent of all penalties.
San Jose players have been called for penalties 4.1 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 3.2, the third-lowest mark in the league. After serving an average of 7.7 penalty minutes per game a year ago, the team’s been forced to kill penalties for 9.0 minutes per matchup this season.
Martin Jones (25.4 saves per game) has been the top choice in goal for San Jose. Jones has seven wins and three losses to his name and has registered a solid 1.98 goals against average and a .930 save percentage this season.
Logan Couture (eight goals, four assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Sharks.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under
- The under has hit in each of San Jose’s last five outings.
- Tampa Bay has managed 30.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while San Jose is averaging 36.6 shots per game over its last five at home.
- The Lightning are 6-0 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Sharks are 2-2 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
- Tampa Bay skaters ranked 23rd last year with 6.1 takeaways per game, but the team appears to be applying more intense pressure on opposing offenses to begin this season. It’s up to a ranking of 10th in the league with 8.5 takeaways per contest.