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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Senators vs. Lightning (March 1)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Senators vs. Lightning (March 1) article feature image
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Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Ottawa Senators

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Ottawa Senators in an Atlantic Division showdown.
  • Matt Murray has been on fire and Andrei Vasilevskiy is an elite netkeeper. Add in some recent trends, and the total is the move tonight.
  • Tony Sartori breaks down this matchup, plus his prediction and pick, below.

Senators vs. Lightning Odds

Senators Odds +275
Lightning Odds -340
Over/Under 6 (-105/-115)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

We’ve got an Atlantic Division tilt on our hands as the sixth-place Ottawa Senators travel to Tampa Bay to take on the second-place Lightning. This will be the fourth meeting between these two teams this season.

Two of their three meetings have gone under the total, will we see another low-scoring game here?

Ottawa Senators Struggling To Score

The Ottawa Senators begin a five-game road trip in Tampa Bay following Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Saturday was yet another low-scoring affair for the Senators — 15 of their last 18 games have seen six or fewer total goals.

A big reason for the low-scoring games has been the resurgence of goaltender Matt Murray. Murray has allowed just two or fewer goals in seven of his last eight starts and has an incredible 0.949 save percentage over that stretch.

Not only has he been hot recently, but Murray has been a tremendous goaltender all season as he ranks fifth amongst starting goaltenders in five-on-five goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx). Unfortunately for Murray, the offense in front of him has been awful.

This season, Ottawa ranks 25th in the league in five-on-five expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF) and 26th in average expected goal value of five-on-five shot attempts. The Senators offense has really fallen off recently as they are averaging just 1.89 goals scored per game over their last nine contests.

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Tampa Bay Lightning Keep Striking

The Tampa Bay Lightning enter this showdown riding a four-game win streak. The Lightning were last in action on Saturday when they beat Nashville 3-2 outdoors in a Stadium Series game.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is projected to get the start between the pipes at home, a place where he plays especially well. This season, Vasilevskiy’s save percentage jumps up to 0.929 when playing at Amalie Arena.

In Vasilevskiy’s 22 home starts this year, there have been six or fewer total goals scored in 17 of them. Not only is Vasilevskiy one of the best goaltenders on the planet, but the defense in front of him continues to be one of the league’s best blue lines.

Led by Victor Hedman, the Lightning’s defense ranks fourth in the league in five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA) and 10th in average expected goal value of opposing five-on-five shot attempts.

Senators vs. Lightning Pick

With these two goalies in net, the under is the bet to make here. Murray has been on fire, and Vasilevskiy is obviously in the top tier of goalies for the past decade.

I expect this matchup follows the trend of their last two meetings and stays under six goals. I wouldn’t bet this if it drops to 5.5.

Pick: Under 6 | Bet to: 6 (-125)

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