Tampa Bay Lightning (35-18-6) at Anaheim Ducks (35-15-7)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 18, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -138 / Tampa Bay Lightning +125 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Ducks will look to shake off an ugly loss in their last outing and avoid losing their sixth game in their last 10 overall as they take on the Lightning in Anaheim on Wednesday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning finish off their California road trip looking to take two of three and rebound after losing to the Los Angeles Kings in their last game and with a day off in between this time they should be well rested and get starting goaltender Ben Bishop back between the pipes. The Lightning have been among the league's most consistent teams all season and certainly have had the game's best offense all season and they can add to those numbers with a win on the road here against Anaheim who leads the Pacific division and has a stranglehold on second place. The Bolts meanwhile are in a dead heat with the Red Wings and Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic and this race could very well come down to the final day of the season as all three teams are playing very well at the moment and all three have similar make ups that create very exciting match ups. Bishop will go up against John Gibson who continues to fill in for the injured Frederik Andersen.
The Ducks have been among the league's elite since the puck dropped in October and are definitely at least a co-favourite to win the Stanley Cup but they are in the midst of a 4-5-1 stretch that we haven't seen from them this season and while it may be a case of the injury bug or getting some rest as the division is basically theirs they haven't been the same lately. Anaheim is loaded at both ends of the ice but they are without Andersen right now and while John Gibson has shown flashed of brilliance he is still a youngster and riding him into the postseason may not be the optimal scenario for the Ducks. Anaheim has been lights out at the Honda Center with a 19-7-3 record and the Bolts are just 13-12-5 on the road but I think this game will be much closer than the line and in fact I think Tampa has the edge here in goal and that could hold up to the final difference maker. Taking Tampa in this spot with Bishop back in.