Tampa Bay Lightning (4-1-0-0 SU, 2-3 PL, 4-1-0 O/U) vs Detroit Red Wings (4-1-0-0 SU, 4-1 PL, 4-1-0 O/U)
When: 7:30 PM EDT, Monday, October 16, 2017
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan
Lines: Tampa Bay -125/Detroit +105
NHL hockey action on Monday evening and the Tampa Bay Lightning will duke it out with the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Lightning enter this game off a hard-fought 2-1 home win over St Louis, while the Red Wings are off a 6-3 road win over the Golden Knights. Goalie Probables: Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the call for the Lightning and he will be opposed by Jimmy Howard.
Vasilevskiy Comes Up Big Against The Blues
The league has really been enforcing the slashing rule this year and it has led to more power play and much more scoring in the early going. That means that you won’t see many 2-1 games this year, or at least till the players adjust to the new rules. Well, the Blues and Lightning played a 2-1 game on Saturday night and it was the Bolts that came out on top. Andrei Vasilevskiy had a solid game as he stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced in the game to improve to 4-1 on the year with a 3.20 GAA. Last year, he was 23-18 with a 2.61 GAA overall and is now the main guy after Ben Bishop left for Dallas. In his career, he has gone 17-25 with a 2.61 GAA on the road and 5-2 with a 3.03 GAA during October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 20-15 with a 2.29 GAA, including 3-0 with a 1.75 GAA against the Red Wings. The offense has been improved over last year, but they did have just two goals in this game. Still, it was enough. Scoring for the lightning were Tyler Johnson, which was his 2nd of the year and Nikita Kucherov, which was his 5th of the year. The Lightning lost their lone road game this year and was just 19-22 on the road last year.
Tampa Bay comes in ranked 6th in the league in scoring last year at 4.00 gpg, while also ranking 19th in shots taken (31.2 spg) and 4th in power play conversions, converting on 28.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been a bit below average as they ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 3.20 gpg, while also ranking 27th in shots allowed (35.8) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
Red Wings are Off To A Fast Start
Heading into last year, the Detroit Red Wings had made it to the postseason 25 years in a row, but they really had a rough season and that streak finally ended. THis year the expectations are not that high as they are in rebuilding mode, but so far they have been playing very well as they are off to a solid 4-1 start. In their last game, they topped Vegas on the road by a score of 6-3 and will always be known as the team that handed the Golden Knights the first loss in their history. Scoring for the Red Wings was Gustav Nyquist, who scored two, which were his first two of the year, Henrik Zetterberg, which was his 3rd of the year, Anthony Mantha, which was his 3rd of the year, Frans Nielsen, which was his 2nd of the year and Luke Glendening, which was his 2nd of the year. Zetterberg also had three assists and Mantha had two. Grabbing the win in the game was Petr Mrazek, who is now 1-1 with a 3.08 GAA so far. Getting the start in this one will be Jimmy Howard, who has gone 3-0 with a 1.62 GAA on the year, after going 10-12 with a 2.10 GAA last year, including 6-7 with a 1.95 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 113-92 with a 2.34 GAA in his home games overall and 25-19 with a 2.13 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 27-37 with a 2.44 GAA and he is 5-5 with a 2.13 GAA in his career against the Bolts.
The Red Wings have been decent on offense so far as they come in ranked 10th in the league in scoring at 3.40 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots taken (29.2 spg) and 10th in power play conversions, converting on 22.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been very solid so far as they check in at 26th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.40 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (34.4) and 4th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 8.7% of their chances.
Tampa Bay is:
- 6-1 in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference
- 9-3 in their last 12 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- 8-19 in their last 27 vs. the Eastern Conference
- 10-27 in their last 37 vs. the Atlantic
The Red Wings missed out on the postseason for the first in in 26 years last year, but they are off to a nice 4-1 start, but can they keep it going as they are still in rebuilding mode. Ther Lightning are also off to a solid start as they look to get back to the postseason after missing out last year. The Red Wings have a slight edge in goal, but I feel that the Lightning have a bit more on off and it should be that offense that propels them to a win here. The home team has played well in this series of late, but the Lightning are 22-8 the last 30 games in this series and I look for them to add to that trend with a big road win in this one.