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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5
|O 6.5 (-110)
|U 6.5 (-110)
The Tampa Bay Lightning will take on the Edmonton Oilers for the second time this season. The Lightning convincingly beat the Oilers 5-3 when they faced each other in February. Veteran winger Corey Perry had a strong game and finished with one goal and one assist. The Lightning will inch closer to the first place spot in the Atlantic Division with a win, while the Oilers will take control of that second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with a win.
To no one’s surprise, the Tampa Bay Lightning are having another excellent season. They are the third-best team in the Eastern Conference but have lost their last two games by three goals each. This will be a tough game, but they are the better team and itching for a win, so they will come out with a victory. The Lightning continue to be led by veteran duo Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. Stamkos and Hedman may both be on the back end of their careers, but they are still productive players and excellent leaders. Stamkos leads the Lightning in points (63) and goals (27), while Hedman leads the team in assists (43) and has 57 points. The Lightning also happen to have one of the best goaltenders in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevkiy leads the NHL in wins with 30 and only gives up 2.4 goals per game.
The Edmonton Oilers are on the brink of a playoff spot but have lost three of their last four games. If they turn it around, they can finish in a Wild Card Spot or top-three in the Pacific Division. The Oilers have two of the most electric players in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid is an impressive scorer and excellent passer. He is a wizard with the puck and creates opportunities for his teammates by attracting so much attention. He has 30 goals and leads the Oilers in assists with 51. Draisaitl has a knack for finding the back of the net; he leads the Oilers with 38 goals. Draisaitl is also an efficient center and has 41 assists. As good as the Oilers’ offense is, their defense and goaltending are suspect and need to improve. They give up 3.21 goals per game and both of their goaltenders allow over three goals a game.
Tampa Bay Lightning beat Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Tampa Bay Lightning cover, Under 6.5 goals.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning||Head-to-Head||Edmonton Oilers|
|Jon Cooper||Head Coach||Jay Woodcroft|
|37-14-6 (2nd in Atlantic Division)||Standing||31-23-4 (4th in Pacific Division)|
|Steven Stamkos (63)||Points||Connor McDavid (81)|
|Steven Stamkos (27)||Goals||Leon Draisaitl (38)|
|Victor Hedman (43)||Assists||Connor McDavid (51)|
|Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (19)||+/-||Leon Draisaitl (14)|
|Brayden Point (2.79)||Shots (Per Game)||Connor McDavid (3.88)|
The Lightning are the favorites to win this game but are facing an Oilers team that has a lot of potential. They are playing on the road, so they need to limit the Oilers’ shots and avoid penalties.
The Oilers get a lot of shots off; they average 33.3 shots per game, 3.3 more shots than the Lightning. One of the reasons the Oilers score 3.21 goals per game is because they shoot that much. The Lightning defensemen have to limit the Oilers’ shots to win this game.
The Oilers are devastating on the power-play. They convert 25% of their power-plays, the sixth-most in the NHL. The Lightning have to be smart and avoid penalties.
The Oilers will have a difficult matchup, but they have shown that they can beat good teams this season. They need to slow down Victor Hedman and get second-chance shots to give themselves a chance to win this game.
Victor Hedman is not much of a scorer, but he knows how to set up his teammates; his 43 assists lead the Lightning. The Oilers need to commit a lot of energy to him and stop him from setting up his teammates.
The Oilers will likely face one of the NHL’s best in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy is having a great season in goal and had been critical to the Lightning’s success. The Oilers must attach the net and be ready to take second-chance shots. They need to get rebound shots to win.
This is an unexpected choice. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is the third center on this team. He plays behind Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos.
I picked him as the key player because he has a big impact in his limited minutes. The Frenchman has seven goals and nine assists and plays a little over 14 minutes a game. However, his most impressive stat is his +/-. He has the highest +/- on the Lightning at 19. Bellemare simply makes his team better.
I cannot say much negative about Connor McDavid, so I won’t. The 2015 1st overall pick is having another tremendous year and has 30 goals and 51 assists.
McDavid is a unique player. He is a center, but he plays over 22 minutes a game. He has a similar TOI to a defenseman. He does not waste those 22 minutes and is constantly creating opportunities for his teammates.
McDavid is the Oilers key player because he is electric with the puck. He can score, pass, and terrorize defenses.
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|Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche Information|
|What||Tampa Bay Lightning vs Edmonton Oilers|
|Where||Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta|
|When||Saturday, March 12, 10:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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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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