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The Seattle Kraken have lost three of their last four games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won four of their last five games.
The Lightning were 2-0-0 against the Lightning last season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Lightning
16-8-3 (2nd in Pacific Division)
17-9-1 (3rd in Atlantic Division)
Andre Burakovsky (27)
Nikita Kucherov (39)
Jared McCann (12)
Steven Stamkos (15)
Andre Burakovsky (17)
Nikita Kucherov (28)
Morgan Geekie (13)
Nicholas Paul (14)
Andre Burakovsky (2.63)
Shots (Per Game)
Nikita Kucherov (3.63)
The Seattle Kraken will make the long trek to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning. The Kraken were one of the worst teams in the league last year but have turned it around this season. However, this season, they have turned it around and are sitting in the second spot in the Pacific Division. Seattle could cement their spot with a win or overtime loss. On the other side, the Lightning are sitting in the third spot in the Atlantic Division with 35 points. They would inch closer to the second spot with a win but could be relegated to a Wild Card spot with a loss.
The Kraken have gone on some winning streaks this season but have lost three of their last four. However, they are having a solid season overall and possess a few offensive weapons. Defensively, they are mediocre and, in addition, lack competent goaltenders, but their offense has been carrying them.
The Kraken have some dangerous players in Andre Burakovsky, Jordan Eberle, Matty Beniers, and Jared McCann. Burakovsky is a talented passer and scorer and leads the team with 27 points. Eberle can also score but is more of a passer; he has 16 assists. Beniers is a jack of all trades and has 11 goals and 12 assists. Finally, we have James McCann. McCann is the elite goal-scorer of this group and leads the team with 12 goals.
Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer make up Seattle’s goaltending tandem. Jones is the starter but not much better than Grubauer. Both netminders have save percentages under .900. They are liabilities for the Kraken and need to play better.
The Lightning are having another solid season. Their roster is not elite, but their veteran experience and leadership will likely send them on another deep Playoff run.
The Lightning have done an excellent job of maintaining their core of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point. Kucherov is having a career year and has 39 points (the fifth-most in the league). Stamkos is having another productive season and leads the Lightning with 15 goals. Hedman is having a quieter season and only has 12 points. However, he plays over 24 minutes a game and is still the leader of the Tampa defense.
Andrei Vasilevskiy still holds the #1 goaltending spot in Tampa Bay. He is having a mediocre season but has been outstanding over his last four games; Vasilevskiy has only allowed seven goals in that time and been largely responsible for his team's strong play. Currently, the netminder’s level of play is sufficient, but he will need to step up in the Playoffs.
These teams have the same amount of points (and have played the same amount of games), but the Lightning are playing at home and have been hotter over the last week. That will be enough to push them to victory.
The Kraken are the underdogs but will win with strong goaltending and tough defense.
The Kraken lack quality goaltenders but will need them to step up today. Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer are not the worst netminders in the NHL, but they could use a lot of work. Whoever does get the start will need to step up and play at a much higher level than expected.
The Kraken defensemen performed well in their last game and only allowed the Panthers to take 25 shots. This was a stronger game than usual for them, but they need to take this momentum and perform at the same level in this game.
The Lightning are the superior team at this moment but will only win if they score the first goal and draw penalties.
The Lightning have scored first in three of their last four victories. There is no guarantee Tampa will win if they score first, but it dramatically improves their chances. The Lightning should look for every scoring opportunity out of the gate.
Tampa has the fifth-best power play unit in the NHL and converts on over 27.72% of their opportunities. In addition, the Lightning have scored four power-play goals in their last four games. The Lightning must draw penalties this game and build a lead off the power play.
Jared McCann is a certified goal scorer. The winger has not scored in his last two games but scored two goals in his two games before that. McCann needs to return to form tonight and find a way to put one in the back of the net.
Nicholas Paul is not the obvious choice, but he is quietly having a great season. Paul has 12 goals, eight assists, and a team-leading +/- of 14. Paul does everything right and is the ultimate teammate. If he continues to make the right decisions on the ice, the Lightning will be in a good place.
What - Seattle Kraken vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Where - Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
When - Tuesday, December 13, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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