Amalie Arena will be the site for an Atlantic Division tilt as the Boston Bruins take the ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The action will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 17, and you are able to catch it live on New England Sports Network.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
With a moneyline of -165, Tampa Bay comes into the game as the obvious favorite. The line for Boston sits at +145 and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at an even 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).
The Lightning are 48-22 straight up (SU) and have earned 11.4 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, ranked first in the NHL in this young season, is an improvement over the 42-40 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 70 regular season matches, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 24 have gone under and just one has pushed. The teams 25-9 SU at home this season.
Tampa Bay currently has the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 24.4 percent of their extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.9 percent of all penalties.
Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, 4.0 per game over its last five games total, and 4.0 per game over its last five at home. The teams had to defend opponent power plays for 9.8 minutes per contest over its last five home games.
Averaging 29.6 saves per game with a .923 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (40-17-3) has been the top option in goal for the Lightning this season. If head coach Jon Cooper decides to rest him, however, the team might go with Louis Domingue (5-10-10 record, .884 save percentage, 3.67 goals against average).
Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will each be focal points for the Lightning. Kucherov (91 points) has tallied 34 goals and 57 assists and has recorded two or more points on 28 different occasions this year. Stamkos has 27 goals and 55 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 48 games.
On the other bench, Boston is 44-25 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 8.2 units this season. Through 69 regular season contests, 36 of its games have gone under the total, while 32 have gone over and just one has pushed. Boston’s 19-14 SU as the visiting team this season.
Boston has converted on 21.6 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for eighth-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 12th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.7 percent of all opponent power plays.
Boston’s players have been whistled for penalties 3.9 times per game this season, 3.8 per game over their past five contests total, and 4.0 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The teams been forced to kill penalties 10.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Tuukka Rask (2.35 goals against average and .917 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Boston. Rask is averaging 25.3 saves per game and has 29 wins, 16 losses, and four OT losses to his credit.
Brad Marchand (30 goals, 42 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Bruins.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under
- The over has hit in four of Tampa Bay’s last five games.
- Boston has managed 34.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Tampa Bay is averaging 38.6 shots per game over its last five home outings.
- Extra-man opportunities could be key tonight. The Bruins are 14-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 24-14 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Lightning are 25-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 28-13 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- Four of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 4-0 in those games and 6-2 overall in shootouts this season.
- Tampa Bay skaters have created 6.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 7.0 takeaways per game (ranked 19th in the NHL).
- Boston has created 5.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked sixth overall).