Lightning vs Bruins Prediction: NHL Odds, Preview
(Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images).
Lightning vs. Bruins Prediction, Odds
Here's everything you need to know about the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins on Tuesday, February 13 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.
Tampa Bay came out of the All-Star break slow and sluggish by losing to both the Rangers and Islanders. However, its luck changed with a win against the Blue Jackets on Saturday. A battle with the Atlantic Division’s leaders though will be a tough test.
Amid a seven-game home stand, the Bruins haven’t exactly had a great start to the second half of the season either. They’ve lost two out of their last three games, but the last time they faced the Lightning, they came out on top by a score of 7-3.
Let's dive into our Lightning vs. Bruins prediction.
We all know what Tampa Bay can bring, but Nikita Kucherov is on another level, posting 14 points in his last seven games. Beyond Kucherov's historic season, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman are both averaging over a point per game. Captain Steven Stamkos has also hardly shown signs of aging, with three goals in his last five games.
All season, the Lightning’s 5-on-5 play has been pretty weak. For the past month though, they’ve at least been better, playing to a 49.77 xGF% and 2.23 xGA/60.
One thing that hasn’t changed was Tampa Bay’s power play is all-world. It leads the league, scoring 30% of the time. The penalty kill is pretty strong too at 81%.
I fully expect to see Andrei Vasilevskiy to start Tuesday night. After two days of rest, the former Vezina Trophy winner is still getting his feet under him after missing the first few months of the season because of back surgery. Vasilevskiy is playing to a .901 SV% and a 5.0 goals saved above expected.
There’s truly an immense amount of firepower on the Bruins, and it starts with David Pastrňák. The Czech winger is one of the game’s most prolific goal scorers, and he has points in four of his last five. Captain Brad Marchand has had a fine season, although he's been a bit quiet recently. Luckily, Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha have picked up the slack.
Even though Boston stands atop the Eastern Conference, its 5-on-5 offense has been mediocre. It ranks 16th with a 51.04 xGF% and is decent defensively with a 2.54 xGA/60.
The Bruins’ special teams are truly dynamite, scoring on the power play at a 25.5% clip, while they're seventh on the penalty kill at 82.1%.
Both Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have split starts in net season. Since Swayman started Saturday, my guess is we will see Ullmark. After a Vezina Trophy season last year, Ullmark has somewhat come back down to Earth. Regardless, he’s still having a real solid season with a .916 SV% and a 12.5 GSAx.
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When these teams square off, you’re bound to get fireworks. The first time they played, it went to overtime with a 5-4 final score, and the second game finished at 7-3. On paper, this would seem like a game the goaltenders would take over. However, with Vasilevskiy underperforming, Tampa Bay’s bound to let up a few goals.
The Bruins do have great goaltending, but you can never be so sure given how much Tampa Bay can light up the opposition. Both teams also aren’t the best 5-on-5, while they’re both incredibly strong on the power play. To go with that, the Bruins find themselves in the penalty box the fifth most of any team, giving the Lightning ample opportunities to take advantage.
I’m expecting a lot of goals tonight between these two rivals. At plus-value, there’s some good bang for your buck here.