Detroit Red Wings (4-6 SU, 7-3 PL, 6-4-0 O/U) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (8-2 SU, 6-4 PL, 7-3-0 O/U)
When: 7:35 PM EDT, Thursday, October 26, 2017
Where: Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -218/ Detroit +195
Atlantic Division hockey action on Thursday evening and the Detroit Red Wings will battle it out with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The Red Wings come in off a tough 1-0 loss at Buffalo, while the Lightning are off a solid 5-1 win over the Hurricanes on the road. Goalie Probables: The Red Wings will be sending out Jimmy Howard and the Lightning will counter with Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Red Wings Have Fallen Apart Already
Last year the Detroit Red Wings missed out on the postseason for the first time in 26 years, but they did start out well at the beginning of this season as they won four of their first five games. Well, that fast start is over as they have now lost their last five games in a row after falling 1-0 to the Sabres on the road. The offense put up 17 goals through their first five games, but they have scored just nine total goals during their losing streak. They have fallen apart already and they could be on their way to a second straight season without a postseason berth. Henrik Zetterberg and Anthony Mantha each have four goals to lead the team in scoring while leading them in points is Mike Green, who has 11 points. Jimmy Howard got the start in the loss to the Sabres and he had a fine game as he stopped 31 of the 32 shots that he faced in the game. It just wasn’t enough as the offense left him down. He is now 3-=3 with a 2.54 GAA on the year, including 2-1 with a 2.11 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 89-87 with a 2.54 GAA on the road and 25-22 with a 2.22 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 27-39 with a 2.47 GAA and he is 5-6 with a 2.21 GAA in his career against the Lightning.
The Red Wings have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring at 2.60 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots taken (30.0 spg) and 23rd in power play conversions, converting on 14.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average so far as they check in at 18th in goals allowed, giving up just 3.00 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (33.4 spg) and 8th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 14.6% of their chances.
Lighting Continue With Their Strong Start
There is still a ton of time left in this season so getting too excited about the hot start of the Lightning may be a bit premature, but still,m this team has looked very good at the start of the year and they have looked very good at both ends of the ice. They come in off a 5-1 road win over Carolina and have now won their last three games in a row and seven of their last eight. Their offense has been one of the best in the league, but they have now allowed just two total goals in their last three games and will look to keep it going in this one against a Detroit offense that has been struggling on offense of late. Andrei Vasilevskiy has gotten off to a strong start as he is now 8-1 with a 2.22 GAA on the year after winning against the Hurricanes and he is 5-0 with a 2.38 here at home. In his career, he has gone 29-16 with a 2.62 GAA in his home games and 10-2 with a 2.18 GAA during the month of October, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 21-15 with a 2.28 GAA, including 4-0 with a 1.82 GAA against the Red Wings. Scoring in the win over the Hurricanes was Tyler Johnson, which was his 4th goal of the year, Mikhail Sergachev, which was his 4th of the year, Vladislav Namestnikov, which was his 4th of the year, Ryan Callahan which was his 1st of the year and Nikita Kucherov, which was his league-leading 11th of the year.
Tampa Bay comes in ranked 2nd in the league in scoring at 4.10 gpg, while also ranking 23rd in shots taken (30.1 spg) and 1st in power play conversions, converting on 30.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 3rd in goals allowed, giving up just 2.40 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots allowed (34.8 spg) and 12th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.1% of their chances.
- 17-37 in their last 54 vs. the Eastern Conference
- 16-37 in their last 53 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
Tampa Bay is:
- 13-3 in their last 16 after allowing two goals or less in their previous game
- 6-1 in their last seven vs. the Eastern Conference
The Red Wings had a hot start to their year, but they have cooled off since. The Lightning had a hot start and they have stayed hot. Detroit has really struggled to score of late and will be taking on Andrei Vasilevskiy who just isn’t giving up many goals right now as he has allowed just five total goals in his last five starts and just two goals in his last three. I just don’t see many goals from the Red Wings in this one. The Tampa Bay offense has been one of the best in the league and the Red Wings have allowed 15 goals in their last four games. Tampa Bay is 14-2 their last 16 home games in this series and that is the clincher for me. Take the Bolts on the puckline in this one.