Lightning vs. Red Wings Odds, Preview & Prediction: Expect a Low-Scoring Contest in Detroit (October 14)
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Nedeljkovic
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off a bad loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Opening Night but are still big favorites over the longshot Detroit Red Wings.
- Offense is not a strong point for Detroit, which puts some value on the over/under (6 goals) in this game.
- Jacob McKenna previews the matchup and shares his favorite bet.
Lightning at Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+215|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After a disappointing opening night loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to get back on track against a Red Wings team that is still in the rebuilding phase and is coming off a season that only saw them win 19 games.
As expected, Tampa Bay comes into this one as heavy favorites and could pose some issues to the Detroit defense. However, the value in this matchup lies in the total as we have a great matchup between the pipes.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Losing Game 1 of the season by a score of 6-2 is never a pleasant sight, but there is no need to panic when it comes to this Lightning team. Three of the six goals that were scored by Pittsburgh were the direct result of an empty net and the last five goals of the game were scored in the final five minutes.
Tampa Bay was outplayed all night, but the final score is slightly misleading.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start on Thursday night and he is still one of the best goalies in the NHL. One sub-par performance on Opening Night does not change that. Vasilevskiy finished sixth in save percentage (.925), third in Goals Saved Above Expected (+13.3), third in Goals Saved Above Average (+15.58) and seventh in high-danger save percentage (.873).
While there is no reason to be alarmed in goal, the offense did look sluggish against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. The Bolts generated just 15 shots on goal through the first two periods and only generated four high-danger scoring chances throughout the entire game. As strong as the Lightning were in 2020/21, they did finish 18th in creating high-danger chances, so that’s something to keep an eye on.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings made some moves last season and in the offseason to improve their squad, but unfortunately for them they will be without one of their main pieces for a large chunk of the season.
Last year at the trade deadline Detroit went out and grabbed Jakub Vrana from Washington and he made an immediate impact for the team, scoring 11 points in the 11 games he played as a Red Wing. However, Vrana is expected to miss 4 months after undergoing shoulder surgery, which is a massive blow to Detroit’s offense.
Furthermore, last season the Red Wings finished 31st in expected goals for (xGF) and 30th in high-danger scoring chances, and now that Vrana is not in the picture we could easily see similar numbers.
Detroit had a middle of the road defense last season, but a huge offseason move was made to improve that aspect of their game. Detroit traded for Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, who was a stud for the Canes when he was in net and is a great anchor for this team.
Nedeljkovic finished last season with a .945 save percentage, a high-danger save % of .869, and a GSAx of +9.7, all of which ranked inside the top 10 for goalies last season. In addition, Nedeljkovic only allowed an average of 1.86 goals per game in the seven games he played against the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, proving he has been able to keep the puck in front of him when playing this team.
Lightning vs. Red Wings Pick
We’re going to have quite the battle between the pipes in this one, which should allow for a relatively low scoring contest. Vasilevskiy and Nedeljkovic are two of the top goalies in the league and both are likely going to be stopping shots all night, and the Detroit offense likely won’t do much scoring.
The Red Wings were last in the league in several offensive categories last season, including goals scored, and I don’t think they are going to have nearly enough to get many goals past the Lightning who are looking to get back on track after a tough loss earlier in the week.
Those factors should help keep this game under the total.
Pick: Under 6 -120 (play to -125)