The yo-yo season for the Tampa Bay Lightning returns to Amalie Arena tonight for a one-game stay before hitting the road for one game before coming back home to play those two teams again.
The Lightning are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, play the Dallas Stars on the road on Saturday, and then will face both Dallas and Pittsburgh at home next week before departing on a five-game road trip.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Living on the edge
- When -7 PM
- Where – Amalie Arena
- TV – Bally Sports
- Radio – 102.5 The Bone
After dropping back-to-back games against Colorado and Arizona, the Lightning enter tonight with a record of 10-8-5 for 25 points through 23 games. Tampa is tied with Toronto and Detroit on points for the third spot in the Atlantic, but both have played fewer games.
The Lightning were hoping to get a boost from the return of Andrei Vasilevskiy during their road trip, but after knocking off Carolina 8-2, the Lightning couldn’t keep it going. The irony is that in both of their losses, Tampa Bay had a higher share of the expected goals, while that wasn’t the case against Carolina. But as has been the case all season, backbreaking mistakes seem to creep up at the worst possible time for the Bolts.
Who to watch on Pittsburgh
In case you didn’t know, the Penguins have some guy named Sidney Crosby on the team, and it turns out he is still good at hockey. The Kid enters tonight with 24 points and 13 goals, the latter of which is 6th best in the NHL.
Jake Guentzel has been a point-per-game pace since 2018, and he too has 24 points. He should be alongside Crosby all night. The other ageless wonder for Pittsburgh is Evgeni Malkin, who has been playing on the second line. Malkin has 19 points.
The Penguins tried to bolster the blue line and added Erik Karlsson this season, who is having a great offensive season.
But the Penguins enter tonight with a record of 10-10-1 and just 21 points from 21 games and are sitting in third to last in the Eastern Conference. Without watching Pittsburgh up close it’s hard to pinpoint the exact problem the Penguins are having, considering their team save percentage is 91.51%, 5th best in the NHL.
The odds favor Tampa at -135, but it feels anything but a sure bet. That hasn’t stopped 82% of the overall bets so far going in favor of the Lightning.
But 81% of the best favor Pittsburgh at least covering the 1.5 goal spread, so anticipate a close one-goal game that the Big Cat might have to steal tonight with some late Nikita Kucherov magic.