Columbus Blue Jackets (10-16-2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (18-9-1)
December 15, 2022 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -345 / Columbus Blue Jackets +262; Over/Under: +6.5
(Get latest betting odds)
The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet in NHL action from the Amalie Arena on Thursday night.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to rebound from a 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers last time out. Johnny Gaudreau has a team-high 31 points with 10 goals and 21 assists while Boone Jenner has 21 points with a team-high 10 goals. Elvis Merzlikins has gone 4-8 with a 4.68 GAA and an .864 save percentage while Joonas Korpisalo is 4-5-1 with a 3.51 GAA and a .905 save percentage and Daniil Tarasov has gone 2-3-1 with a 3.17 GAA and an .912 save percentage in goal for Columbus this year.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will try to build on a 6-2 win over Seattle in their last game. Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning with 42 points including a team-high 31 assists while Steven Stamkos has 34 points with a team-high 16 goals on the year. Brayden Point also has 30 points with 15 goals and 15 assists while Mikhail Sergachev has 27 points with 5 goals and 22 assists this season. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 12-8-1 with a 2.63 GAA and a .913 save percentage while Brian Elliott is 6-1 with a 3.39 GAA and an .895 save percentage so far between the pipes for Tampa Bay.
Columbus is 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Atlantic division and 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall and 7-3 in their last 10 games following a win while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
I get the allure of backing the plus money dog in spots, but this isn’t one of them. I don’t trust Columbus’ goaltending enough to rely on them to keep them in the game against a Tampa Bay team that’s clearly superior in this matchup. The Bolts have owned this series and I look for them to get another convincing win here. Give me Tampa Bay -1.5 here.