Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Minnesota Wild Free Preview

A couple of teams that are squarely in the playoff hunt, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota Wild meet at the Xcel Energy Center in an East-West matchup. The game gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 20 and it’s being shown live on Fox Sports North.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild Odds

Tampa Bay heads into the contest as the favorite with a moneyline of -120. The line for Minnesota sits at +100 and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -110 for the over and -110 for the under.

Tampa Bay is 31-14 straight up (SU) and has earned 9.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 26 of its games have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Lightning team is 14-8 SU on the road.

Tampa Bay currently has the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 24.5 percent of its extra-man chances this season. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.6 percent of all penalties.

Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been sent to the penalty box 4.1 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its past five outings total, and 4.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays 9.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Averaging 28.4 saves per game with a .929 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (27-11-2) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If it decides to give him a rest, however, Tampa Bay might turn to Louis Domingue (1-7 record, .870 save percentage, 4.02 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Lightning. Kucherov has 61 points on 27 goals and 34 assists, and has recorded two or more points 20 times. Stamkos has 17 goals and 36 assists to his name, and has notched at least one point in 30 games.

Minnesota is 24-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 46 regular season contests, 23 of its games have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and just two have pushed. It’s 15-8 SU at home this season.

Minnesota has converted on 19.1 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 seventh overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Minnesota players have been sent to the penalty box 4.2 times per game in total this season, and 3.2 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.0 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Devan Dubnyk has stopped 28.3 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for Minnesota. Dubnyk has 18 wins, 12 losses, and three OT losses and has registered a mediocre 2.61 goals against average and a .919 save percentage this year.

The Wild will be led on offense by Eric Staal (19 goals, 19 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Minnesota Wild Free Picks

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

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone under in four of Minnesota’s last five outings.
  • Minnesota’s attempted 29.7 shots per game overall this season (ranked 30th in the NHL), and 32.8 across their last 10 games.
  • The Lightning are 18-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 17-7 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total.
  • Minnesota is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Minnesota is ranked 27th in the NHL this season with 6.0 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as it has created 5.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 17th in the NHL this season with 7.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team has forced 6.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.6 takeaways over its last five.