Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game Preview

Facing each other for the third and final time this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes collide at PNC Arena for an Eastern Conference showdown. Fox Sports Sun will broadcast the matchup, and the opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 7.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes Odds

Tampa Bay is 54-27 straight up (SU) and has netted 8.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. 48 of its outings have gone over the total, while 30 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Lightning team is 25-15 SU on the road.

Tampa Bay has converted on 24.1 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 29th overall, and the teams successfully killed off only 75.8 percent of its penalties.

Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.1 times per game in the 2017-18 season, and 5.4 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 13.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Averaging 29.4 saves per game with a .920 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (44-21-3) has been the top option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. Vasilevskiy did just play last night, however, so the team might choose to rest him and turn to Louis Domingue instead (7-11 record, .892 save percentage, 3.44 goals against average).

The visiting Lightning will be led by Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (100 points) has tallied 39 goals and 61 assists, and has recorded multiple points 30 times. Stamkos has 27 goals and 59 assists to his nameand has logged a point in 52 games.

Over on the other bench, Carolina is 35-46 straight up (SU) and has lost 17.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 81 regular season contests, 42 of its games have gone under the total, while 37 have gone over and just two have pushed. This year, the team is 18-22 SU as the home team.

Carolina has converted on 18.5 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 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.4 percent of all penalties.

Carolina players have been sent to the penalty box only 2.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Cam Ward has stopped 24.8 shots per game as the top choice in goal for Carolina. Ward has 22 wins, 20 losses, and four OT losses to his credit and has recorded a mediocre 2.75 goals against average and a poor .905 save percentage this season.

The Canes offense will be led by Sebastian Aho (29 goals, 36 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The under has hit in three of Carolina’s last five games.
  • Penalties and power plays could be even more critical than usual in tonight’s game. The Lightning are 26-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 30-17 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Hurricanes are 16-27 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 29-38 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Carolina is 3-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 6-2 in shootouts.
  • One of the best at pressuring their opponents, Carolina is ranked 2nd in the league with 10.8 takeaways per game. That figures trended lower lately, however, as it has managed 8.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 6.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.0 takeaways per game (ranked 18th in the league).
  • Tampa Bay may hold the upper hand if it’s a tight one late. The teams an impressive 23-10 in games decided by one goal, while Carolina is only 13-24 in such games.