The Carolina Hurricanes will be looking for their third straight victory when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Tampa Bay has won the last three contests between these teams, including a 3-1 victory on February 25.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for this Central Division battle at the PNC arena. Tampa Bay is the favorite at -120. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts the odds for Carolina at +100 as the underdog.
Defenseman Erik Cernak is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest, as is defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Goaltender Petr Mrazek is out until at least April.
Lightning Streak Snapped at Five
The Tampa Bay Lightning had their five-game winning streak snapped with a 4-3 loss in Dallas. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 41 shots. Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay is first in the NHL in goals per game at 3.61 and are second in shooting percentage at 11.9%. The power-play has been fantastic, second overall at 28.7%. The Lightning are led in scoring by Victor Hedman with 33 points. Steven Stamkos is the leading goal scorer with 16 and is second on the team with 31 points.
Tampa Bay is fourth in goals allowed a 2.33 per contest. They are eighth on the penalty kill at 82.6%. Vasilevskiy is having an MVP season, posting a 1.91 GAA and a .932 save percentage. He is 21-4-1.
Hurricanes Down Blue Jackets in OT
Sebastian Aho scored 1:26 in overtime to lead Carolina to a 4-3 victory over Columbus. Martin Necas had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 33 of 36 shots to earn the victory.
Carolina is eighth in the NHL at 3.25 goals per game. They are 10th in shooting percentage at 10.3% and have the top power-play at 30.0%. Aho is the leading scorer with 31 points and his 14 goals lead the team as well. Dougie Hamilton is first in assists with 23 and second in points with 26.
Carolina is allowing 2.50 goals per game, seventh overall. They are ninth in penalty killing at 82.4%. James Reimer is 12-4-1 with a 2.68 GAA and a .909 save percentage. Reimer has allowed 10 total goals in his last five starts.
- 10-3 in their last 13 games.
- 10-4 in their last 14 games at home.
Tampa Bay is going to be the favorite in almost every contest they are in for the rest of the season. This is the best team in the NHL, but Carolina is not far behind them. They trail the Lightning by a small percentage in the standings and are 10-1-3 at home the season. Plus, over the last 10 games, the Hurricanes have two more points than Tampa Bay.
Pick: Take Carolina at +100.
Vasilevskiy has been dominant this season and has earned his place as one of the top two or three goalies in the NHL. However, he is not invincible. He gave up four goals in his last game to a very mediocre Dallas Stars team. While Reimer is playing better, I do not see him holding back Tampa Bay either. I like the over here as I think both teams have some success scoring goals in this game.
Pick: Go over 5.5 at -120.