Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 2/27/14
Tampa Bay Lightning (33-20-5) at Nashville Predators (25-24-10)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Nashville Predators +100 / Tampa Bay Lightning -110 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators will play their first game in nearly three weeks. It’s the second and final meeting between the teams, as Tampa Bay won the previous meeting 4-2 back in December.
The three weeks off should have helped the Lightning more than any other team in the NHL, as they were hobbled by injuries. Center Valtteri Filppula and goalie Anders Lindback, two main guys who missed playing time, are questionable for the matchup and could make their return. The Lightening have lost four of their last six games due to inconsistent offense, as they’ve score two or fewer goals in three of their last four losses. Getting Filppula back on the ice would be huge.
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The Predators also hope to get a few guys back themselves, as Nick Spaling and Matt Cullen are both questionable for this game. Nashville has lost three straight and five of its last seven games. A lot of this has to do with poor goaltending, as they have allowed 27 combined goals in their last seven games. They’re also struggling defensively, allowing a power play goal in each of their last three losses.
With the way Nashville has struggled preventing the puck from going into the net, you have to like Tampa Bay’s chances due to its terrific offense. The Lightening are ranked 10th in the league in goals scored per game and are 5-2 in their last seven games when scoring at least three goals. Well, Nashville has allowed three or more goals in six of its last seven games.
Tampa Bay is also 7-2 in its last nine games vs. Central completion.
I look for the Lightening to begin their strong playoff push with a road victory over the Predators.