Back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning (37-14-6, second place in the Atlantic) travels to Canada for Saturday’s nights game against the Edmonton Oilers (31-23-4, fourth place in the Pacific).
This is the second of two meetings between these teams this season. The Lightning earned a 5-3 victory last month.
Tampa Bay enters this contest on a two-game losing streak following Thursday’s 4-1 loss in Calgary. Tampa Bay looks to avoid a third consecutive defeat. Nonetheless, the Lightning have been sharp since the All-Star break and are 7-3 in their last ten games.
Meanwhile, Edmonton has been wildly inconsistent of late. They're 4-5-1 in their last ten games, and 1-2 the last three with an ugly minus-8 goal differential. Both of those losses were in regulation. The biggest problem for the Oilers has been their haphazard goaltending. Mikko Koskinen is the confirmed starter and has struggled.
The Lightning are in the midst of a six-game road trip, including two awful performances in Canada this week. That slide should stop tonight with Andrei Vasilevskiy back between the posts and Tampa Bay's potent offense primed to put some pucks in the net.
Face-off happens at 7:05 pm PT.
OPINION (courtesy of Pointspreads.ca):
Edmonton is priced as a rare home underdog (2.35), a position it has found itself in only three times this season. But there's a reason for this tonight since the champion Lightning should be focused on rebounding.
Not only are the Lightning the much better team, but they’ve had Edmonton’s number over the past few seasons. Tampa Bay has won 5 straight in this series.
The bottom line is – the Lightning have a clear goaltending advantage, superior overall talent, and trends favor them in this contest, as well.
We'll take Tampa Bay at 1.64.
Spreads.ca courtesy of Spreads.ca: