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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
Tampa Bay Lightning beat Washington Capitals 4-2
Tampa Bay Lightning cover
Tampa Bay Lightning
7-5-1 (5th in Atlantic Division)
6-7-2 (6th in Metropolitan Division)
Nikita Kucherov (21)
Alex Ovechkin (13)
Steven Stamkos (7)
Alex Ovechkin (8)
Nikita Kucherov (15)
Evgeny Kuznetsov (9)
Brandon Hagel (8)
Nick Jensen (4)
Steven Stamkos (4.23)
Shots (Per Game)
Alex Ovechkin (3.87)
The Tampa Bay Lightning will travel north to face the Washington Capitals. These two teams are very similar, as the Lightning only have one more point than the Capitals.
The Lightning have done an excellent job of maintaining their roster over the past five or so years. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov have been in Tampa since 2008, 2009, and 2013 respectively, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made his Lightning debut in 2014. This continuity has allowed Tampa Bay to have a strong offense. However, their defense might need to improve as the season goes on.
The Lightning are averaging 3.23 goals per game, and that is in large part to Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, and Brandon Hagel. Nikita Kucherov has six goals and 15 assists. His 21 points lead all Lightning players. Brayden Point is not as good as Kucherov but has six goals and nine assists. Steven Stamkos has seven goals and six assists.
The veteran has been particularly impressive on the power play. Five of Stamkos’ seven goals have come with a man advantage. Brandon Hagel plays the least of these four players but has five goals and six assists. Even though Hagel plays the least, he leads the Lightning with his +/- of eight.
Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliot make up Tampa Bay’s goaltending duo. Vasilevskiy plays significantly more than Elliot, but they perform similarly well. The duo has combined for a save percentage of .905 and allows 3.08 goals per game. This is not the top goaltending duo in the NHL, but they can hold their own.
The Capitals started the season well but are in a slump now and have lost five of their last six games. This slump is partially because of a rash of injuries. Carl Hagelin, Alexander Alexeyev, T.J. Oshie, and John Carlson are all on the injured list and will miss tonight’s game.
Even though the Capitals are dealing with many injuries, they still have some productive players in Alex Ovechkin, Dylan Strome, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Alex Ovechkin is 37 years old but leads the Capitals with 13 points. Ovechkin may be the oldest Capital, but he plays over 20 minutes a game. Dylan Strome has four goals and eight assists; he is scoring on over 15% of his shots. Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the Capitals with nine assists but scores on less than 6% of his shots.
Darcy Kuemper became the primary goaltender for the Capitals when he signed a five-year contract with them this offseason. The signing has paid off so far, as Kuemper only allows 2.47 goals per game. The 32-year-old may have a losing record, but he is playing very well this season.
The Lightning may be on the road, but they are healthier and playing better hockey. Bet on them to win the game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the superior team. With that being said, they only come into this game with -150 odds. This game will likely be close, but Tampa can pull away by scoring a power play goal and shooting as much as possible.
The Lightning do not have the best power play unit in the league, but they are dangerous with a man advantage. Tampa converts 22.22% of their power play opportunities. They will need at least one power play goal tonight, as they are on the road and road games are always more difficult.
The Lightning will likely face Darcy Kuemper in net for the Capitals. Kuemper is playing solid hockey and is a brick wall in net. The Lightning must inundate Kuemper with shots if they want to build a lead..
The Washington Capitals are short-handed but can win if they play a full team game and have good puck movement.
The Capitals are missing a handful of influential players. However, they can make up for that if each player does a little more than they are asked. Hockey is a team sport, and the Capitals need everyone to go above and beyond to win this game.
The Capitals have 68 assists on 41 goals this season. That is not a low amount of assists, but it could be better. Washington needs to pass the puck more. If they do, they will score more goals.
Nikita Kucherov may be entering his prime, and the Lightning have to take advantage of that. The 29-year-old’s 21 points are the third-most in the league.
Kucherov is doing everything right and needs to continue this high level of play.
Alex Ovechkin is still a scoring machine, but his overall impact has been surprisingly negative. Ovechkin has a +/- of -13, the worst on the Capitals. He needs to be more intelligent on the ice and make smarter plays.
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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