Lightning vs. Kings (Jan. 18)
Lightning vs. Kings Odds
|Chances of Lightning||-170|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest NHL odds here.|
Los Angeles will look to bounce back from being embarrassed in a major divisional showdown Monday afternoon in San Jose, but it won’t be an easy task as they host two-time defending champion Lightning on Tuesday.
Lightning in rhythm with Kucherov
It’s once again cut or bust for the Bolts this year, who have the opportunity to post the league’s first hat-trick since the New York Islanders in 1983. With all the key pieces from the previous two runs back and in dominant form once again, another title run is very possible.
In five games since returning to the lineup, former Hart Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov has scored nine points and improved the Lightning’s power play.
With the Lightning now skating the same five plays that dominated in last year’s playoffs with Kucherov back, expect them to be among the best power-play teams down the stretch. Kucherov’s ridiculous half-wall game is the most crucial role in their dominance.
In the five games since Kucherov’s return, the Lightning have gone 4-1-0 with four regulation wins, a 55.47 expected goal percentage and a +9 goal differential.
The organization’s excellent ability to develop players in the AHL Syracuse continues to prove invaluable, as several plays such as Ross Colton, Mathieu Joseph and Taylor Raddysh have shown well this season. Those three also helped replace the loss of the entire third line last season and survive some of the team’s notable injuries.
The Lightning haven’t confirmed whether or not they’ll turn to Andrei Vasilevskiy here, but having been out since Saturday and only playing again Friday, I imagine they should probably turn to their No. 1 here. Vasilevskiy has once again been ridiculously good, scoring 16.6 goals above expectations with a .924 save percentage in 31 games played this season.
The kings hope to bounce back
Even though it was just one game, it was surprising to see the Kings completely embarrassed the way they were on Monday against a Sharks team that isn’t particularly strong.
But the Kings are due for some regression from their dominating results, and they’re playing through something of a climax in a limit playoff season.
They don’t have a ton of goalscoring skills, and while I’ve been enjoying their defensive play a lot lately, it’s still hard to believe they’ll likely be an above average club this season – again. more in competitions outside of the comfortable Pacific Division. Los Angeles holds the league’s 21st-highest offensive output at 2.82 goals per game, and that’s unlikely to improve significantly this season.
With Jonathan Quick having played yesterday in San Jose, we should see replacement Cal Petersen on Tuesday. Petersen has produced a very average game this season, with a .906 save percentage and +2.5 goals recorded above expectations over a 14-game sample.
Lightning vs. Kings Pick
Before yesterday’s terrible Kings loss, I already had this as a good place to support Tampa considering where and how much advantage they have over this Kings team.
The Lightning will control more of the flow of play at 5-on-5 than the Kings are used to and should hold special teams in the streak considerably better. Additionally, Tampa also holds a notable goaltending advantage with Vasilevskiy over Petersen.
In these places, Pacific Division teams are often overrated, and I think we should see one of the Atlantic Division powerhouses in the Lightning pick up a big win as they work to avoid a game over. post-season nightmare in the first round.
Tampa can win this game inside regulation more often than a +100 line suggests with their advantages in scoring and goaltending skills.
Take: Lightning 3-Way Moneyline (Settlement Gain) +100
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