Lightning vs. Oilers Preview

tampa bay lightning vs edmonton oilers nhl odds nhl preview

TAMPA BAY, FL (AP) - Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and the Edmonton Oilers' Taylor Hall were both No. 1 overall draft picks.

That may be about the only thing those players have had in common lately.

Two of the most highly touted prospects in recent years square off for the first time Friday night, with Stamkos again trying to snap out of his scoring slump and Hall looking to keep contributing to the Oilers' surge.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Lightning –118 money line favorites for Friday's game against the Oilers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 86% of more than 265 bets for this game have been placed on the Lightning -118.

Trends say Tampa Bay is 71-149 ATS in road games where the over-under is 5.5 since 1996.

Hall, the top selection in this year's draft, had three goals and four assists over his first 17 NHL games, but has seemed to find his groove over the past 10 contests with six goals and two assists.

Hall keyed Edmonton's season-high four-game win streak with a team-best four goals, including one in overtime against St. Louis on Saturday, but his shootout goal couldn't extend that run Tuesday night.

It was the only one in the Oilers' 10 attempts during a 3-2 loss to visiting Anaheim.

While Hall's team is 6-2-2 in its last 10, Stamkos and the Lightning have been headed in the other direction. They've lost four of six as the No. 1 pick in 2008 has failed to register a goal - his longest drought since midway through last season.

Stamkos has only two assists in that six-game span and doesn't have a point in the last three. He had 21 goals and 17 assists during the team's 13-7-2 start.

He's gone nine straight without a power-play goal - Stamkos leads the league with 10 - and Tampa Bay has only one in 16 chances over its last five road games.

"We haven't been really generating a lot of power plays especially on the road," Stamkos said. "It's something that obviously is part of our game plan that we're not doing. We're not getting first on the puck. We're not forcing them to take penalties. That's costing us by not getting on the power play that much."

Edmonton didn't allow a power-play goal for a season-high third game in a row Tuesday and rallied to force overtime after trailing 2-0. Ryan Jones scored in his third straight game and Dustin Penner added a goal in the third period.

The Oilers, however, lost captain Shawn Horcoff to a right knee injury.

Horcoff, who has seven goals and eight assists in 24 games, is expected to miss up to eight weeks. Edmonton (10-12-5) also will likely not have forward Ales Hemsky (groin) for at least another month.

"They still have the character in the room to get things done," Horcoff said. "Injuries are always tough ... We just have find ways get through those."

The Lightning (15-10-3) have dealt with their share of injuries during the early part of this season with Simon Gagne, Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Downie among those missing games.

While Stamkos has struggled to pick up the slack lately, Ryan Malone has three goals and four assists in a five-game point streak. He scored for a second consecutive game Tuesday night, but Tampa Bay couldn't rally from an early three-goal deficit in a 4-2 defeat at Calgary.

Stamkos was held off the scoresheet and left with an upper-body injury in these teams' most recent meeting as Edmonton won 3-2 in Tampa last Dec. 9.

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