Tampa Bay Lightning vs Philadelphia Flyers: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay vs Philadelphia, Scotiabank Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning have blown a two-goal lead in each of its first two seeding games, but they’ve managed to still grab the two points from both of them, putting them in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the NHL playoffs. They face the upstart Philadelphia Flyers, who rolled past Boston in the first game of the round-robin format and are playing with a lot of confidence. With so much chaos happening in the opening-round series, seeding is vital to securing a good matchup once the playoffs officially commence next week.

Free Picks

Tampa Bay has played a pair of 3-2 games so far in the bubble and Philadelphia only beat Boston 4-1, so the chance of this game exploding into a shootout seems unlikely. The Lightning and Flyers are both trying to put their best defensive foot forward before the playoffs begin, so this should be a tight-checking affair with goals at a premium. Even a late empty-net goal shouldn’t push this total past the 6.5 goals where the NHL betting sites in New Jersey have set the over/under.

UNDER 6.5 GOALS (-135)

It is very plausible that this game might need more than 60 minutes to decide a winner, especially since the points are going to be so critical in determining the playoff seeding in the East. Tampa Bay needed a shootout to beat Washington and score inside the last two minutes to clip Boston, so the Lightning are ready for this game to not be decided in regulation. Philadelphia might be pushing in the third period to deny the Lightning a point, which could end up working in Tampa Bay’s favor. Either way, the Lightning seem like the better team, so they’re the pick in this one.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING TO WIN (-160)

Best Odds

Philadelphia Tampa Bay
FanDuel
+135 -160

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the fourth meeting of the year between these two teams, but first in 2020. The Capitals won all three previous games, which came in a span of three weeks from Nov. 29 to Dec. 21.

Stats

  • Over the last three seasons, Tampa Bay has a 4-2-0 record in Toronto and Washington is 3-1-0 at Scotiabank Arena.
  • These two teams were in the same division from 1993-2013, but since the split, the Capitals own a 14-3-4 edge in the regular season and beat the Lightning 4-3 in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Alex Ovechkin has led the league in goals in seven of the last eight seasons, scoring on 13.5 percent of his shots over that span.
  • Alex Killorn is having a career year for the Lightning with 26 goals and 49 points, and leads the team with seven game-winning goals this year.

Our Prediction for Tampa Bay Lightning vs Philadelphia Flyers

Tampa Bay to win

Tampa Bay was probably the best team in the NHL again this season, but a slow start ruined its chance at winning the President’s Trophy again. However, the Lightning looked strong in February and March, and that has continued in the bubble. They likely won’t slow down now with the playoffs in sight.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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