Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup

Amalie Arena will play host to a divisional matchup as the Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice against the visiting Montreal Canadiens. This one gets started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 28 and it’ll be shown live on Reseau Des Sports.

Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

With a -230 moneyline, Tampa Bay heads into the matchup as the heavy favorite. The line for Montreal sits at +190.

Netting 13.8 units for moneyline bettors, Tampa Bay is 26-9 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That winning percentage, ranked first in the league so far in the early season, is a solid improvement compared to how the team performed during last years regular season (42-40). Of its 35 games this season, 21 have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and none have pushed. The teams 15-3 SU at home this year.

The Lightning enter the matchup with the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as they have converted on 26.4 percent of their extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 22nd overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all penalties.

The Lightning, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.1 times per game overall this season, and 6.2 per game over their past five match ups. The teams had to kill penalties for a whopping 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings, in total.

Averaging 29.5 saves per game with a .932 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (23-6-1) has been the best goalkeeper for Tampa Bay this year. If the Bolts choose to rest him, however, Tampa Bay could roll with Peter Budaj (3-3-3 record, .878 save percentage, 3.67 goals against average).

The Bolts will continue to rely on leadership from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (51 points) has put up 24 goals and 27 assists and has recorded two or more points on 18 different occasions this year. Stamkos has 13 goals and 32 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 24 contests.

On the other side of the rink, Montreal is 16-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 18 of its contests have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the visiting team, the Canadiens are 7-11 SU so far.

The Canadiens have converted on 18.8 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 29th overall and it’s successfully defended 76.9 percent of all opponent power plays.

Montreal’s skaters have been penalized 3.9 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five on the road. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Carey Price (3.00 goals against average and .906 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Montreal. Price is averaging 27.2 saves per game and has 11 wins, 13 losses, and two OT losses to his credit.

Phillip Danault (seven goals, 14 assists) has been one of the primary facilitators on offense for the visiting Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Over Tampa Bay’s last ten outings, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 6-0 in those games).
  • Penalties and power plays could play a critical role in the outcome of this matchup. The Canadiens are 5-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 11-14 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Lightning are 15-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-4 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Montreal is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in three of Tampa Bay’s last five games.
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 9th this season with 8.5 giveaways per game. That figure has improved lately, however, as it’s averaged 6.1 giveaways over its last 10 games and 6.6 giveaways over its last five.
  • Montreal skaters have averaged 11.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 13.8 giveaways per game (ranked 30th in the league).
  • Montreal skaters have accounted for the leagues third-most hits per game (24.7), but the teams averaged just 20.4 hits over their last five away games.