The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to down the Columbus Blue Jackets again when these teams meet on Sunday. The Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets on Thursday, 3-1.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this Central Division battle at the Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay is the favorite at -303. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Columbus at +240 as the underdog.
Columbus listed center Zac Dalpe as questionable for Sunday’s game. Center Boone Jenner, right wing Gustav Nyquist, and defenseman Zach Werenski are out. For Tampa Bay, defenseman Jan Rutta and center Steven Stamkos are out.
Blue Jackets Blackened by Lightening
Columbus took a 1-0 first period lead, then watched the Lightning score three unanswered goals as the Blue Jackets fell 3-1. Seth Jones scored his fifth goal of the season for Columbus. Elvis Merzlikins returned to stop 25 of 27 shots in the loss.
The Blue Jackets are 29th in goals per game at 2.37 and are 30th in shooting percentage at 8.2%. Columbus is 28th on the power play at 15.1%. Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the team with 15 goals, 21 assists and 36 points. Cam Atkinson is second at 31 points.
The Blue Jackets are 26th in goals against average at 3.33 per game, and are 13th in penalty killing at 79.8%. Merzlikins is 6-12-2 with a 2.93 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He has allowed six total goals in his last three appearances.
Coleman Leads Lightning
Blake Coleman scored two goals to head the Lighting in the victory. Ondrej Palat also scored for Tampa Bay. Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 of 25 shots to earn the victory.
The Lightning are fifth in the NHL in goals per game at 3.30 and are fifth in shooting percentage at 10.9%. Not surprising, the team is fifth on the power play at 24.7%. Victor Hedman leads the team in scoring with 42 points and also leads the team with 34 assists. Brayden Point is the team leader in goals with 20 and is second in total points with 39.
Tampa Bay is seventh in goals allowed per game at 2.57 and are 10th in penalty killing at 82.2%. After getting a night off, look for Andrei Vasilevskiy to be back between the pipes. Vasilevskiy is 27-8-1 with a 2.08 GAA and a .930 save percentage.
- 7-24 in their last 31 games.
- 7-20 in their last 27 games on the road.
- 23-10 in their last 33 games.
- 39-15 in their last 54 games at home.
The Winner Prediction
The Lightning have not looked as formidable as we have become accustomed to seeing, but they are in the toughest division in the NHL and a slew of games against the Carolina Hurricanes is never easy, so their struggles may be deceiving. This Lightning team continues to excel, while the Blue Jackets are struggling on both ends of the ice. The Lighting are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these teams.
Pick: Take Tampa Bay at -303.
These teams have gone under in five of the last seven meetings between them in Tampa Bay. Columbus has gone under 5.5 goals total in just one of their last four games and that was against Tampa Bay. The Lightning have gone under 5.5 goals in three straight games. I like Vasilevskiy to have a huge outing.
Pick: Go under 5.5 goals at -110.