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Odds for Lightning vs Ducks taken from Caesars Sportsbook
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1.5 (+115)
|Anaheim Ducks||T-1.5 (-135)
On paper, the Lightning are a little better than the Ducks, but in reality, the Lightning are playing much better than the Ducks right now. The Lightning have won their last four games while the Ducks have lost their last four games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the best team in the NHL. For starters, they have one of the best, if not the best, goaltenders in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy only gives up 2.20 goals a game and has 23 wins, the most in the NHL. He is a dominant netminder and very hard to score on. Beyond Vasilevskiy, center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman lead this team on the ice. When they are both healthy, the Lightning are hard to stop.
The Anaheim Ducks were quite dominant earlier in the season but have fallen off lately. They still have a talented team with John Gibson in goal, Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras scoring goals at center, and veteran defenseman Cam Fowler, but they have been playing horrible hockey lately. Of course, part of this is due to injuries, but the simple fact is the Ducks are going through a slump right now.
Tampa Bay beats Anaheim 4-1 on the road.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning||Head-to-Head||Anaheim Ducks|
|Jon Cooper||Head Coach||Dallas Eakins|
|27-9-5 (1st in Atlantic Division)||Standing||19-16-7 (2nd in Pacific Division)|
|Steven Stamkos (48)||Points||Troy Terry (36)|
|Steven Stamkos (19)||Goals||Troy Terry (22)|
|Victor Hedman (34)||Assists||Ryan Getzlaf (22)|
|Victor Hedman (13)||+/-||Adam Henrique (5)|
|Steven Stamkos (2.73)||Shots (Per Game)||Troy Terry (2.37)|
With the way the Tampa Bay Lightning have been playing, they most likely win. Not only are they the better team, but they are playing really well right now. However, they still have to prioritize a few things this game. They need to keep the puck out of the Ducks centers’ hands and avoid getting penalties.
Ducks center Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Isac Lundestrom, and Richard Rakell have scored over 40% of the Ducks goals. Troy Terry is the most talented scorer of this bunch with a team-leading 22 goals, but they can all score. Tampa Bay’s defensemen have to force them to give up the puck. These four players are simply too talented with the puck in their hands.
The Ducks have the 6th-most effective power-play in the league. They score on 25% of their power-plays. In a time when the Ducks are struggling to score, their only goals may come from power-plays. Therefore, the Lightning have to play a clean game and not get penalized. If they play clean, they will eliminate a lot of Ducks scoring chances.
It is a tough time to be a Ducks fan right now. They have not won much since the NHL returned. However, they still have a chance to win this game. If the Ducks want any chance of winning this game, they need to force Steven Stamkos to give up the puck and look for second-chance shots.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos has been a top player in the NHL for many years. This season is no different. Stamkos is averaging over one point a game and knows how to score and create opportunities for his teammates. He has to be priority #1 for the Ducks defenseman. They cannot let Stamkos hold the puck.
The Ducks have not been able to score lately. They have only scored four goals in their last four games (all losses). In order to break their scoring slump, they need to look for every opportunity to score. That means crashing the net looking for rebounds. They will be able to keep the game close if they can put some rebounds in the back of the net.
Does Steven Stamkos ever stop impressing? So far, no. The six-time All-Star is having another great season and continues to be a vital part of the Lightning’s success.
Stamkos is so dangerous because he can score and create opportunities for his teammates. He is so versatile, making him very hard to handle for the other team’s defenseman. He will be playing a Ducks team without veteran defenseman Cam Fowler in this game. He should look to take full advantage of that and exploit all of the other defensemen’s weaknesses.
For the Ducks, all they can hope to do is slow Stamkos down. They will probably devote a lot of their energy to him.
Troy Terry has become a star for the Ducks this season. He has 22 goals and 14 assists. Terry has a knack for scoring and is only 24 years old.
Terry is an electric player and can score on the best of them. He needs to look for his shot this game, and if it is not there, look to make the pass. He has proven that he can score and pass and needs to return to that.
The Lightning need to take Terry out of the offensive picture. If they do not, the Ducks might keep this game close.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks|
|Where||Honda Center, Anaheim, California|
|When||Friday, January 21, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||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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