Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2 SU, 3-4 PL, 5-2-0 O/U) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (5-1 SU, 5-1 PL, 3-3-0 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Where: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
Lines: Columbus -125/ Tampa Bay +113
The Atlantic Division meets the Metro Division this evening as the Tampa Bay Lightning square off with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Lightning are off a 5-4 shootout loss to the Devils on the road, while the Blue Jackets are off a 5-2 road win over the Jets. Goalie Probables: The Lightning will have Andrei Vasilevskiy in the crease for this one and he will be opposed by Sergei Bobrovsky.
Lightning Fall To Devils In Shootout
The Tampa Bay Lightning have gotten off to a nice start as they look to get back to the postseason after missing out last year. On Tuesday night, they faced a New Jersey team that is also off to a nice start this year and it was the Devils that got the better of that matchup. The Lightning had a 4-3 lead late in the game, but the Devils scored with just 4:06 left in regulation to send the game to OT. The Devils finally won the game in a shootout. The loss broke a four-game win streak that the Lightning was on. Scoring for the Lightning in the loss was Vladislav Namestnikov, which was his 3rd of the year, Ondrej Palat, which was his 3rd of the year, Nikita Kucherov, which was his 8th of the year and Steven Stamkos, which was his 2nd of the year. Kucherov is now 2nd in the league in goals and 1st in points with 12. Taking the loss against New Jersey was Peter Budaj, who was making his first start of the year. Getting the nod tonight should be Andrei Vasilevskiy and he has gone 5-1 with a 3.00 GAA on the year, including 1-1 with a 3.58 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 18-25 with a 2.60 GAA on the road and 7-2 with a 2.69 GAA during the month of October, while against the Metro Division he has gone 13-13 with a 2.78 GAA, including 0-2 with a 3.54 GAA against the Blue Jackets.
Tampa Bay comes in ranked 5th in the league in scoring last year at 3.86 gpg, while also ranking 19th in shots taken (31.3spg) and 10th in power play conversions, converting on 25.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average as they ranked 18th in goals allowed, giving up 3.14 gpg, while also ranking 25th in shots allowed (34.9 spg) and 20th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
Win Streak At Four After Topping The Jets
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a long way to go to topping last year’s 16 game win streak that they had, but they have a nice four-game win streak going right now after topping the Winnipeg Jets on the road by a score of 5-2. The Blue Jackets are looking like a team that has something to prove after last year’s early exit from the postseason. This is a team with one of the best offenses in the league and they also have the hottest goalie in the league as well. This team could walk away with the Metro Title this year. Scoring in the win over the Jets was Cam Atkinson, which was his 3rd of the year, Nick Foligno, which was his 1st of the year, Jack Johnson, which was his 1st of the year, Lukas Sedlak, which was his 2nd of the year and Zach Werenski, which was his 3rd of the year. The Blue Jackets were 28-13 at home last year. Grabbing the win against the Jets was Joonas Korpisalo and he has now gone 1-1 with a 3.50 GAA on the year. Getting the nod in this one will be Sergei Bobrovsky and he has gone 4-0 with a 1.48 GAA on the year, after going 41-22 with a 2.06 GAA last year overall, including 28-11 with a 2.10 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 85-73 with a 2.42 GAA in his home game and 24-24 with a 2.74 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 47-24 with a 2.36 GAA and he has gone 5-2 with a 2.72 GAA in his career against the Lightning.
The Blue Jackets have been a solid offensive team so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring at 3.50 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (35.7 spg) and 27th in power play conversions, converting on 6.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 2.17 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (30.2 spg) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.4% of their chances.
Tampa Bay is:
- 25-63 in their last 88 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 4-9 in their last 13 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
- 17-4 in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 31-12 in their last 43 home games
The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a nice start this year, but can they keep it going against a Columbus team that is playing very well at the moment. Columbus has a four-game win streak going and while the Lightning may have a slight edge on offense right now, the Blue Jackets have a big edge in the crease as Bobrovsky just may be the best goalie in the league right now and he is 5-2 in his career against the Bolts, while Vasilevskiy is 0-2 with a 3.54 GAA in his career against the Blue Jackets. I really like this Columbus team and I see them picking up a nice win over a very good team.