Following a 2-1-1 stretch at Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning (39-22-6) are back on the road tonight to face the New Jersey Devils (44-16-6). This is the first of three games in less than a week against the Devils, with the second game being played in New Jersey on Thursday and the third game taking place back in Tampa Bay on Sunday. FanDuel has the Devils favored at -138 with an over/under set at 6.5.
The Tampa Bay Lightning fell in the second game of a back-to-back on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2. Connor Hellebuyck started in net again for the Jets in the second game of a back-to-back for them as well, and looked great against the Bolts with 33 saves. Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli put home goals for the Lightning in the first and second periods respectively, and a last-minute shot by Victor Hedman in the third clanked off the post in an effort to tie it at 3 goals apiece. The Jets have now swept the Lightning this season in both games they’ve matched up.
New Jersey has quietly been one of the hottest teams this season, tied atop the Metropolitan division with the surging Carolina Hurricanes. Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton have been offensive catalysts all year long, but Dawson Mercer has been on fire recently with seven goals and eight assists over the last 10 games. The Devils won both games of their back-to-back this past weekend, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 before shutting out the Hurricanes 3-0. Vitek Vanecek has been a force for the Devils between the pipes this year, posting a solid 28-7-3 record for the squad.
These teams have yet to face each other this season, but will get plenty of time to see each other over the coming week with three matchups lined up. With two being in New Jersey, surely a top priority for the Lightning has to be at least splitting the games with the Devils on the road, and hopefully returning home on Sunday to claim the series.
INJURIES: Lightning C Anthony Cirelli is day-to-day after leaving Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Devils goalies Jonathan Bernier and MacKenzie Blackwood are currently on IR.
Odds (Courtesy of FanDuel): TBL +115 ML/NJ -138 ML, O 6.5 -106/U 6.5 -114
Where to watch: Bally Sports Sun, NHL Power Play, ESPN+
Where to listen: Lightning Radio 24/7, 102.5 MHz-FM
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
March 14, 2023, 7:00 p.m. ET