Lightning vs. Blue Jackets Prediction
The Columbus Blue Jackets have stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning in two straight games to open the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Can Tampa Bay bounce back today despite the absence of the NHL's leading point-getter due to suspension?
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Nationwide Arena at 7:05PM ET
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Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, the Lightning are a -135 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Blue Jackets are a +115 underdog, while the over-under sits at 6 goals. As of Sunday morning, 69 percent of public bets are being placed on visiting Tampa Bay. Check out our NHL Public Betting Page for the latest updates.
Kucherov suspended for Game 3
Tampa Bay star Nikita Kucherov, who led the NHL in points this season with 128, will miss tonight's contest after being suspended due to a boarding penalty Friday night in a 5-1 home defeat versus Columbus in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The loss puts the NHL-best Lightning into a 2-0 series deficit. Tampa Bay fell behind 3-0 through two periods before Mikhail Sergachev found the back of the net five minutes into the third period on assists by J.T. Miller and Erik Cernak. The Blue Jackets proceeded to score two more goals to put it away. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves on 27 shots in the loss.
Duchene helps guide Blue Jackets to win
Columbus rolled to a 5-1 victory as big underdogs Friday night at Tampa Bay to take a 2-0 lead in the series back home. Cam Atkinson opened the scoring 5:15 in off an assist by Matt Duchene. Later in the first period, Zach Werenski scored on the power play with Duchene assisting again. Duchene added a power play goal of his own 1:28 into the second period off assists by Artemi Panarin and Werenski. After the Lightning cut it to a 3-1 game, Columbus got its goal back with 10:54 remaining on a Riley Nash tally assisted by Boone Jenner. Panarin completed the scoring with 7:45 remaining on assists by Duchene and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Sergei Bobrovsky recorded 23 saves on 24 shots to post the win.
NHL Betting Trends
The Lightning are 46-13 in their last 59 games as a favorite. Tampa Bay is 44-10 in its last 54 games versus the Eastern Conference.
The Blue Jackets are 5-1 in their last six games versus the Atlantic Division. The favorite is 14-5 in the last 19 meetings.
It's hard to imagine the Lightning going down 3-0 in this series after such a spectacular regular season, but here we are with that possibility fully in play. The loss of Kucherov is massive and Columbus is going to have the backing of what is surely going to be a very loud home crowd. Bobrovsky gets up for games like this and it seems as though Vasilevskiy lets the nerves and pressure of the situation get to him sometimes. I'm taking a shot on the red-hot Blue Jackets here.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS +115