Tampa Bay Lightning (30-14-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (16-25-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 27, 2015, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes +140 / Tampa Bay Lightning -155 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Hurricanes look to extend their winning streak to three with a win on home ice on Tuesday when they welcome the Atlantic leading Lightning to town.
The Lightning will look to continue rolling as the unofficial start to the playoff push kicks off on Tuesday night with the all-star break in the rear view mirror and the regular season schedule resuming. Tampa Bay has been one of the league's best teams this season and sit atop the NHL's Atlantic division with a 30-14-4 record but they have company as the Red Wings and Canadiens are hot on their heels and it'll be an exciting race to the finish for the division crown and the three automatic playoff berths the division is allocated. Tampa is likely to go with Ben Bishop between the pipes as they have done for most of the season and he has been brilliant sporting a 24-7-2 mark with a 2.34 GAA putting him in the conversation to be recognized for the Vezina and while it might be a stretch for him to garner that title I'm sure he would trade it all for a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Bishop will go up against Cam Ward who could be on the move in the next couple of weeks as the trade deadline approaches.
The Hurricanes have won six of their last 10 contests including back to back games entering the All-Star break but it is a case of too little too late for the Canes who virtually stand no shot at jumping into the playoff mix. The Canes are 20 points out of the final wild card spot in the East and with their winning ways continuing all they're doing is hurting themselves as they play out of the top two spots in the draft lottery, something highly coveted by all teams as Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are slated to be generational talents and franchise altering selections for those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to land those spots. Carolina will be sellers in a few weeks and some big names may change jerseys and with that mentality moving forward I think it'll be tough for the Canes to keep winning and against a Tampa team looking to secure a division title and a top seed I think they come into Raleigh and leave with two points.