The Tampa Bay Lightning (41-22-6) are back in action tonight in Amalie Arena, hosting the Montreal Canadiens (27-36-6) for a 7:00 p.m. ET puck drop. FanDuel predictably has the Lightning as the heavy favorite tonight at -400 on the money line with a game over/under set at 6.5.
The Bolts are feeling good after winning their last two games against one of the best teams in the league, the New Jersey Devils. Tampa Bay handled New Jersey on Tuesday with a 4-1 win in the first game of the two. Brandon Hagel was the star of the night with a goal and two assists, while Vasilevskiy played another great game between the pipes to earn his 30th victory on the season.
The second game was much closer, with the Lightning just edging out the Devils 4-3 in a shootout. Steven Stamkos provided two goals and an assist during regulation and Ross Colton had a goal in regulation and one in the shootout to help the Bolts to victory. Two great wins over a very talented New Jersey team easily bound for the playoffs.
Thankfully, the Lightning return home tonight to welcome in a much lesser team by comparison to the Devils. The Montreal Canadiens are sputtering as they continue to trod through their lackluster season. They have won only two games in their last 10 and are coming off of a brutal 9-5 loss at the hands of the Florida Panthers. The Canadiens surrendered seven goals alone in the first period, allowing the Panthers to set a franchise record. Montreal was certainly outmatched and overwhelmed all night long, and the Bolts will look to continue to apply pressure here tonight.
Tampa Bay has gotten the best of their Atlantic division rival in two previous games so far this season. The Lightning man-handled the Canadiens in Montreal 5-1 on December 17th and again of the 28th, 4-1. Hagel netted two goals in the first contest, while Brayden Point had two goals in the second. Andrei Vasilevskiy was spectacular in both games as well, making 47 saves on 49 shots over the two games.
INJURIES: No injuries for the Lightning.
Canadiens D Jordan Harris and RW Joel Armia are considered day-to-day. A full list of all Montreal players currently on IR can be found here.
Odds (Courtesy of FanDuel): TBL -400 ML/MTL +300 ML, O 6.5 -120/U 6.5 -102
Where to watch: Bally Sports Sun, NHL Power Play, ESPN+
Where to listen: Lightning Radio 24/7, 102.5 MHz-FM
Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
March 18, 2023, 7:00 p.m. ET