Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Arizona Coyotes Betting Preview
Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mathieu Joseph (left), Steven Stamkos (center), and Mikhail Sergachev (right).
- The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes go to battle in Friday night NHL action.
- The Lightning are coming off a tough loss and will likely want to take their frustration out on a weak opponent like the Coyotes.
- Check out Jacob McKenna's betting guide and pick for this contest below.
Lightning vs. Coyotes Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Tampa Bay Lightning will travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes on Friday night.
The Lightning will be fresh off a 3-2 loss against the Avalanche on Thursday night, but overall, they have had a stellar season and find themselves with a 30-11-6 record and in second place in the Atlantic Division.
On the other side, Arizona's dismal season has yet to turn around, and it enters this matchup with an overall record of 12-31-4.
The talent gap is rather large between these two squads, but Arizona does have the rest advantage, as this is the second game of a back-to-back for Tampa Bay.
Will the Lightning be able to use their superior talent to overcome that lack of rest, or will we see the Coyotes find a way to grab an upset victory?
Lightning Looking to Bounce Back
Thursday's loss was a tough one to swallow, as it was just Tampa Bay's third loss in its last 10 games.
As a team, it surrendered 47 shots on goal to arguably the best scoring attack in the NHL, a number that is simply too high and tough to compete with.
However, the vulnerability on the defensive end of the ice against Colorado appeared to be a fluke, and for the most part, this has been a great defensive team.
Entering this matchup, the Lightning ranked third in the NHL in expected goals against per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 (xGA/60) with 2.19. In addition, this team has surrendered just 82 total goals when both teams are at full strength, which just so happens to be the 10th-best mark in the league.
Furthermore, in their four games prior to Thursday night's defeat, the Lightning had given up an average of 27.25 shots on goal per game. Clearly, that number is significantly lower than the 47 they allowed on Thursday, further proving that their poor defensive play in that game was an outlier.
Offensively speaking, this is once again one of the better units in the NHL. In 5-on-5, Tampa Bay has scored the eleventh most goals and is averaging 2.67 goals per 60 minutes this season. Arizona presents the Lightning with a much softer matchup, one they are more than capable of taking advantage of.
Arizona Hoping to Find More Offense
The Arizona Coyotes have won two of their four most recent games, which has not happened often throughout the 2021-22 season. Their most recent victory was a 5-2 win over Seattle, but that matchup was much closer than the score makes it out to be.
Arizona had a 3-2 with just under two minutes remaining in the third period before scoring two empty-net goals. The Coyotes were also outshot, 36-27, so they certainly had a bit of luck on their side with Philipp Grubauer being in net for Seattle.
The five goals became one of their largest outputs of the season. But as many NHL fans know, this Arizona squad is not capable of putting up a number like that on a consistent basis.
Prior to their win over Seattle, the Coyotes scored two goals or fewer goals in four of their previous five matchups, further showcasing their general lack of horsepower on that end of the ice.
In addition, this Coyotes team has just 2.06 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and has scored 79 total goals in 5-on-5 situations, both of which rank in the bottom seven of the NHL.
Arizona has also put many of its goalies in a bad position this season, allowing opponents to put up an average 34.3 shots on goal per game. That number ranks 28th in the NHL, and if the Coyotes let a team like Tampa Bay rack up that many chances, it will most likely turn into a situation that will not end in their favor.
Karel Vejmelka appears to be the guy who will be in charge of keeping those shots in front of him on Friday. In 5-on-5 this season, Vejmalka has a SV% of .914 and -6.9 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Andrei Vasilevskiy made the start last night for Tampa Bay, which means Brian Elliott will likely be the netminder for this matchup.
Elliott has played in nine games this season, and in 5-on-5 situations, he has given up 13 total goals, has a SV% of .926, and has posted 0.8 GSAx. Obviously, he is not near the level of Vasilevskiy, but he certainly provides the Lightning with a great option in net.
In the lone matchup between these teams this season, Tampa Bay put up five goals on just 28 total shots in what was a dominant victory.
Even though it's their second game in two nights, I see the Lightning performing at a high level against a poor defense and making up for Thursday's loss.
Pick: Tampa Bay -1.5 (-110)