Lightning vs. Blue Jackets Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Lightning are a -120 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Blue Jackets are a +100 underdog, while the total is set at 5.5 goals.
Tampa Bay enters with a 27-8-1-1 record after a 5-3 home loss to the Flyers on Friday night. Columbus is 22-14-0-3 following a 5-4 loss Friday night at the Senators. The Lightning have won both meetings this season, 2-0 in Columbus on Oct. 19 and 5-4 in a home shootout on Nov. 4. The Blue Jackets are 3-2 in five meetings since the start of last season after sweeping all three meetings during the 2016-17 campaign.
In the loss to Philadelphia, goals were scored by Tyler Johnson along with Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos. Nikita Kucherov dished out two assists. Backup goaltender Peter Budaj made 29 saves on 33 shots before leaving late with a leg injury. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved all four shots sent his way and will be between the pipes for today's game. Tampa Bay led 1-0 through one period, but fell behind 3-2 after two and faltered over the last 20 minutes.
Columbus received two goals from Sonny Milano in the defeat at Ottawa. Josh Anderson and Zach Werenski notched one goal apiece, while Anderson also added an assist. Sergei Bobrovsky recorded 23 saves on 28 shots. The Blue Jackets led 3-1 on a Milano goal in the second period before giving up two more goals in the second to cede control.
Tampa Bay is 4-1 in its last five meetings in Columbus. The under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Columbus and 19-7-1 in the last 27 meetings overall. Tampa Bay is 4-0 in its last four Sunday games.
The Lightning have basically been on a role all season, but every team is due for a rough patch every once in a while. Columbus provides a tough matchup with an outstanding goalie in Bobrovsky and a style that does well in keeping the opposition off the board. I like the Blue Jackets to get it done here in a close contest.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS +100