Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning Free Prediction

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Amalie Arena will be hosting an Atlantic Division tilt as the Tampa Bay Lightning welcome the visiting Ottawa Senators. The match will get going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21, and fans at home will be able to watch it live on Fox Sports Sun.

Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

Ottawa (+190) is entering this one as the underdog to Tampa Bay (-230). The Over/Under (O/U), set at 6 goals, initially opened at -110 for the over and -110 for the under. That line’s shifted, however, and it now sits at -120 money on the over, +100 on the under.

Earning moneyline bettors 11.8 units, the Lightning are 24-9 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked first in the league so far this season, is a solid improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2016-17 season (42-40). Through 33 regular season contests, 20 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. The teams 13-3 SU at home this year.

Tampa Bay currently has the best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 28.3 percent of their extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.5 percent of all penalties.

Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.4 per game over its last five games home outings. The team has had to stave off opposition power plays for just 8.2 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.

Sporting a .933 save percentage and 30.2 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (21-6-1) has been the best option in goal for the Lightning this year. If they, however, decide to give him a breather, the team might turn to Peter Budaj (3-3-3 record, .878 save percentage, 3.67 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both lead the offensive attack for the Lightning. Kucherov (48 points) has tallied 23 goals and 25 assists and has recorded two or more points in 16 different games this year. Stamkos has 13 goals and 32 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 23 games.

On the other side of the ice, Ottawa is 11-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.6 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 32 regular season contests, 16 of its games have gone over the total, while an additional 16 have gone under and none have pushed. Ottawa’s 5-10 SU as the road team this season.

Ottawa has converted on just 16.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places it in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 29th overall and it’s successfully defended 76.9 percent of all penalties.

Ottawa’s skaters have been penalized only 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 4.2 per game over their last five road outings. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Craig Anderson (25.1 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Ottawa. Anderson has 10 wins, 15 losses, and three OT losses to his credit, while registering a .898 save percentage and 3.05 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive attack for the visiting Senators will be Mark Stone (14 goals, 16 assists) and Mike Hoffman (nine goals, 15 assists).

Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in three of Tampa Bay’s last five outings.
  • Ottawa has managed 28.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Tampa Bay is averaging 35.0 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could play a key role in tonight’s matchup. The Senators are 6-14 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 8-14 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Lightning are 15-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-4 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Ottawa (1-4 in shootouts) has more shootout experience coming into this one. Tampa Bay has participated in only a couple of shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 17th this season with 7.5 takeaways per game. That figures trended down recently, however, as the team has forced 6.9 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Ottawa is ranked 19th this season with 6.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as the team has created 4.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay may hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 10-5 in games decided by one goal, while Ottawa is 6-11 in such games.