Lightning trying to fix power outage
Where, oh where, has Tampa Bay’s vaunted offense gone?
The Lightning better rediscover it today vs. the Blue Jackets, or else risk sliding even closer to the outstretched paws of Boston and Florida in the Atlantic Division race.
Online sports book BetDSI still likes Tampa Bay’s odds of -155 to prevail in Ohio. But it’s becoming progressively tougher to back a squad whose putrid attack suggests few signs of vitality anytime soon.
Steven Stamkos and his cohorts have potted three goals in the last three games. Brian Boyle’s late tally in Friday’s loss to Philadelphia prevented a second straight shutout, but the Lightning mustered just 18 shots on net.
Contrast such ineffectiveness with the sky-high attitude from a week ago. Tampa Bay had won a franchise-record nine in a row, averaging 3.7 goals during the spree.
Goalie Ben Bishop can only do so much on his end. The All-Star carries a five-game road winning streak into this afternoon’s affair. In addition, he’ stifled Columbus in both meetings this season.
Instead, the burden falls on Stamkos. Scoreless since March 3, he must loom large if the Lightning hope to reclaim the top spot in ultra-competitive Atlantic.
They’ll begin making inroads in a few short hours, but the over/under figure of 5.5 can’t be trusted. Go low, particularly given Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky’s sterling work in Friday’s return from a groin injury.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: COLUMBUS/TAMPA BAY UNDER 5.5