The St. Louis Blues face the Tampa Bay Lightning with both teams looking to improve in their divisions. The Blues have a 10-9 record and with seven wins in their last 10 games have gained ground in the Central Division. The Lightning have an 11-7-1 record and with four wins in their last five games they have improved in the Atlantic Division. Both teams are looking to build off their hot streaks and the upcoming game looks to be a great one as a result.
Blues defense has struggledThe Blues are having a promising season but hope the offense can improve, scoring only 2.84 goals per game. While Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, and Brayden Schenn have scored 16 goals and 32 assists to lead the top two lines, the rest of the offense has struggled. Only five skaters have scored five goals or more while only six skaters have added six assists, allowing opposing defenses to limit the top-heavy offense.
The offense has struggled but the defense has let the Blues down, allowing 3.42 goals per game with six goals in their last game. Niko Mikkola and Justin Faulk have combined for 2.2 defensive point shares and 70 blocked shots but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to find open shots on the net at will. The bright spot has been the play of goaltender Jordan Binnington who has a .905 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average on 451 shots.
Lightning have been fueled by great offenseThe Lightning are having a strong season behind an offense that is scoring 3.37 goals per game with 21 goals in the last five games. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point have scored 26 goals and 41 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has been great as well. Alex Killorn, Nick Paul, and Brandon Hagel have combined for 19 goals and 22 assists while defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Hedman have added five goals and 23 assists from the point to overwhelm opposing defenses.
The offense has been great but the defense has struggled, allowing 3.16 goals per game. While Hedman and Sergachev have combined for 1.8 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to carry the puck into the offensive zone and find open shots on the net. In addition, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is having a disappointing season in the net with a .903 save percentage and a 3.00 goals-against average on 435 shots.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a great game between two evenly-matched teams. The Blues look to pull off the upset the Lightning have won four of their last five games and look to control this game on their home ice. The Lightning, who average 3.37 goals per game, should constantly find the back of the net with Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and the rest of the forward unit establishing a strong offensive zone presence and creating open shots with centering passes and quick puck movement. The Lightning should also limit a Blues' defense that is scoring only 2.84 goals per game with Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev stepping up and controlling the center of the defensive zone to force awkward shots on the net, allowing goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make plenty of big saves in the net. The Lightning should win the game with a strong performance on their home ice.
Take the Lightning money line as home Favorites.
Full-Game Total Pick
With both defenses struggling, expect this game to be a high-scoring one from the opening puck drop. The Blues should create plenty of scoring chances against a Lightning defense that is allowing 3.16 goals per game with Brayden Schenn, Jordan Kyrou, and the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and creating open shots with great puck movement. The Lightning, who have scored 21 goals in the last five games, should run up the score against the Blues, who allowed six goals in their last game, with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and the rest of the forward unit controlling the puck in the offensive zone and creating open shots with great puck movement while Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev pick apart the Blues from the point. The Over should cover in a high-scoring game with both offenses stepping up.
Take the Over on 6 goals.