Tampa Bay Lightning vs. St. Louis Blues Matchup Preview 3/23/19

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The Enterprise Center is the site for an intriguing matchup as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit Missouri to take on the St. Louis Blues. It’s the last time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. The action will get started at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 23, and fans at home can see this East-West matchup live on Fox Sports Midwest.

Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues Odds

Tampa Bay (-130) is favored over St. Louis (+110), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -120 for the over and even money (+100) for the under.

Tampa Bay is 58-17 straight up (SU) and has earned 30.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 39 of its matches have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just three have pushed. This 2018-19 Lightning team is 27-9 SU on the road.

Tampa Bay enters the match up with the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 29.6 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked first overall, and it’s successfully killed off 85.8 percent of its penalties.

Tampa Bay, as a collective unit, has been whistled for penalties 4.0 times per game this season, and 4.8 per game over its past five contests. The team’s been forced to kill penalties 13.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Averaging 30.6 saves per game with a .930 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (36-12-4) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, Tampa Bay may turn to Louis Domingue (21-5), who has a .908 save percentage and 2.88 goals against average this year.

The visiting Lightning have relied on Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point heavily this year. Kucherov has 120 points on 37 goals and 83 assists, and has recorded two or more points 36 times. Point has 39 goals and 50 assists to his name (and has notched a point in 48 games).

On the other side of the ice, St. Louis is 39-35 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 39 of its games have gone under the total, while 30 have gone over and just five have pushed. This season, the team is 19-17 SU at home.

St. Louis has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.8 percent of all penalties.

St. Louis players have been called for penalties 3.5 times per game this season, and 1.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties just 5.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jake Allen has stopped 24.9 shots per game as the top choice in goal for St. Louis. Allen has 18 wins, 26 losses, and seven overtime losses to his name and has registered a pedestrian 2.85 goals against average and a subpar .904 save percentage this season.

Ryan O’Reilly (26 goals, 43 assists) will pace the attack for the Blues.

Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues Betting Predictions

Prediction: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • For both of these teams, the total has gone over in three of their past five games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could play a key role tonight. The Lightning are 17-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 28-15 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Blues are 21-18 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 28-23 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Tampa Bay is 6-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while St. Louis is 1-2 in shootouts.
  • St. Louis is ranked 10th in the league this season with 8.1 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended down lately, however, as it has created 7.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 4.0 goals per game overall this season, but has upped it to 5.0 per contest over the team’s seven-game winning streak.
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 20th overall this season with 7.0 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher, as it’s averaged 8.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 23-6 in games decided by one goal, while St. Louis is 12-16 in such games.