Vancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 1/1/14
Tampa Bay Lightning (23-12-4) at Vancouver Canucks (23-11-7)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Rogers Arena)
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -152 / Tampa Bay Lightning +138 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: TSN, SUN
Safe to say that this game will be overshadowed by the Winter Classic, but nevertheless the Canucks welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to Rogers Arena in Vancouver on New Years Day.
Tampa Bay heads on the road for a trip north of the border, and the Lightning will kick off the roadie with a difficult matchup with the Canucks. Tampa has not been a particularly great road team this season with a 9-8-1 record away from home, but that record has improved of late with three straight road victories. The Lightning come into this game losers of two straight at home, the most recent of which was a 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers. Ben Bishop is the slated starter on New Years Day, and he has a 1.56 GAA over his last eight appearances.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor
In the wake of the injury to Roberto Luongo, Vancouver has gotten more than serviceable performances from backup net minder Eddie Lack. The backup goaltender is 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a 1.36 GAA. The Canucks let one slip away against Philadelphia in its last contest, allowing the game-tying goal with under one minute remaining in the third period only to lose in overtime.
Vancouver enters the game on a 6-1 run in its last seven games, while Tampa Bay has dropped two straight. The Lightning have gone 1-5 in the last six games versus the Western Conference in the last six meetings. Tampa simply is not the same team without Steven Stamkos, who suffered a broken tibia in November, and I don’t think the Lightning can get it done on the road against a strong Vancouver squad. Relieve yourself of the New Years headache and take the Canucks in this contest.