Hurricanes vs. Lightning: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Tampa Bay vs Carolina NHL
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay, PNC Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to get out of a rut against the other top teams in the Central Division as they close out a road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Lightning have lost three of their last four games, all against teams currently ahead of them in the division standings. That stretch includes Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Carolina, the second shutout in as many games for the Hurricanes against the Lightning this season. The Hurricanes close out this five-game homestand as winners of five of their last six games to claim the early lead in the division with a 12-3-1 record.

Free Picks

Palat had scored points in four straight games before Saturday’s shutout loss to Carolina, and Palat is someone who needs to be scoring for the Lightning to have success. With Anthony Cirelli out for a few more weeks, Palat is one of the key figures to help jumpstart the Lightning’s offense against a stingy Carolina defense. Four of his six goals have come on the power play, a major weapon Tampa Bay needs to utilize better against the Hurricanes. He has the longest odds of Tampa Bay’s top scorers at +240 odds, so the value is there on Palat at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey. Palat starts his shifts in the offensive zone more than 65 percent of the time, the highest percentage among the normal skaters for Tampa Bay this season.

ONDREJ PALAT SCORES GOAL

This is an odd bet to take considering the first game between these two didn’t have a goal in regulation and Carolina pitched a shutout on Saturday against Tampa Bay. However, these are two of the three highest-scoring teams in league as Carolina ranks second at 3.69 goals per game and Tampa Bay is just behind at 3.6 per game. It’s hard to imagine the Hurricanes can pitch a third consecutive shutout against this Lightning squad, and these teams will be ready for each other after battling for 60 minutes on Saturday. The +114 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey aren’t amazing, but the second game between two teams in three days has tended to be more high-scoring than the first of the back-to-back games.

OVER 6.5 TOTAL GOALS

Only two of Tampa Bay’s 10 wins this season have come by a single goal, so when the Lightning win, they have done so with style. Both of those one-goal wins came on the front end of these two games in three days against the same opponent setups that the NHL implemented with the all-divisional scheduling. In fact, the Lightning are 5-1-0 in the second game of those arrangements, winning by an average of 3.6 goals in those five victories. All three of Carolina’s losses in regulation this season came in the second game of these back-to-backs, and the Hurricanes have only swept Dallas in these two-game sets. This sets up for a pretty dominant Tampa Bay victory and at +220 odds at the hockey betting sites in New Jersey, it would be a nice payoff as well. For those even bolder, the Lightning laying 2.5 goals is listed at +375 odds and Tampa Bay laying 3.5 goals is a monstrous +850.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Carolina Tampa Bay
888Sport
+102 -127
FanDuel
+114 -134
BetMGM
+105 -125

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the second of four straight games between Tampa Bay and Carolina and the third of eight total games between the two teams this season.

Stats

  • Carolina won both of the first two games between these two teams and the Hurricanes shut out the Lightning in both games. Petr Mrazek shut the door on a 32-save 1-0 shutout early in the season and Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 24 shots in a 4-0 win on Saturday.
  • Carolina’s four wins over the last two seasons against Tampa Bay matches the number of wins the Hurricanes have had against the Lightning in the seven seasons prior to the 2019-20 campaign.
  • The Hurricanes have eight different players with at least 10 points this season, led by a trio at 16 points this year. Vincent Trocheck has nine goals and seven assists, Andrei Svechnikov has seven goals and nine assists, and Sebastian Aho has six goals and 10 assists this season.
  • Victor Hedman ranks ninth in the NHL this season by averaging 25 minutes and 21 seconds of ice time per game. Hedman has 12 assists this season, nine of which have come on the power play.

Our Prediction for Carolina vs. Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Lightning to win

The defending Stanley Cup champions have struggled this season against some of the other top teams in their division. Since opening the season with a sweep of Chicago, the Lightning are 7-1-0 against the teams currently behind them in the Central Division and just 1-3-1 against the three teams ahead of them. They haven’t scored a goal in more than 120 minutes of action against Carolina and they’ve lost three of four heading into this game with the Hurricanes. But what we saw last week against Florida was how well Tampa Bay responds after getting dominated on the road against a good team, and I expect a similar bounceback Monday.

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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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