NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Penguins vs. Lightning (October 26)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Penguins vs. Lightning (October 26) article feature image
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Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Danton Heinen

Penguins vs. Lightning Odds

Lightning Odds -140
Penguins Odds +120
Over/Under 6.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Tampa Bay Lightning head to Pittsburgh for a meeting against the Penguins. They are looking to bounce back after suffering their third consecutive loss, a 5-1 thumping at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres.

The Penguins, 3-0-2 through five games, are 1-0 against the Lightning. Pittsburgh spoiled Tampa Bay’s banner-raising ceremony with a 6-2 victory at St. Pete Times Forum on October 12.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning have lost three straight games and have been outscored 12-5 in those games. Tampa Bay’s skid coincides with the loss of former Hart Trophy-winning wing Nikita Kucherov, who will miss his fourth straight in what is expected to be a lengthy absence.

The Lightning enter play Tuesday with the second-worst 5-on-5 goals percentage (31.82) — only the Chicago Blackhawks are worse — but their expected goals percentage at 5-on-5 is 10th-best (53.78) according to Natural Stat Trick.

Tampa Bay has the third-worst 5-on-5 save percentage (.884), which is frankly un-Lightning-like.


Pittsburgh Penguins

The high-octane Penguins are back, even without Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby (who is expected to miss his sixth straight game with a wrist injury), and Kris Letang, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Pittsburgh has scored at least four goals in four of its five games, including a 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Penguins have gotten  goal scoring from everywhere — 13 Penguins have scored thus far, led by Danton Heinen, Evan Rodrigues and Drew O’Connor, who each have three.

The Penguins are shooting 13.6 percent and have the second-best 5-on-5 expected goals percentage in the NHL (56.95). Only the Minnesota Wild are better.

Lightning vs. Penguins Pick

The Lightning are going to snap their losing streak eventually, and the Penguins are going to lose in regulation at some point this season. Tuesday would make a lot of sense for those streaks to snap, given the fact Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely be in goal.

But there’s something really wrong with Tampa Bay, and I’m not betting them until I see something tangible change — particularly as a road favorite and given the fact the Penguins have already defeated the Lightning this season.

Pick: Penguins ML (+120)

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