Tampa Bay Lightning (9-3-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (4-8-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 8, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets +138 / Tampa Bay Lightning -152 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Lightning look to keep rolling atop the Atlantic division as they can earn their fifth win in a row on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Lightning have been on the cusp of being a league power house for quite some time and while the injury to Steven Stamkos last season derailed any possibility of that coming to fruition a year ago they are finally starting to look like the team many expected they could be. The Bolts are off to a very impressive start sitting at 9-3-1 on the year and are tied for the most points in the Eastern Conference with the Canadiens and Penguins, a spot we can expect to see them in all season long. Tampa is a complete team and while some may question their back end they have enough insurance in goal and up front as Ben Bishop is a stud between the pipes and offensively the Lightning are among the game's best at putting the puck in the net. They will look to continue that success on the road in Columbus tonight as they face a Jackets team who has stumbled out of the gate.
The Blue Jackets, much like their opponent tonight, were expected to be a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference and after making the playoffs a year ago this was supposed to be the season that Columbus would restore a sense of pride in the Blue jackets franchise. However, they have fallen to a 4-8-1 mark to start the year and sit in last place in the division and will be without former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky for a while leaving the goaltender duties up to Curtis McIllhenny and Anton Forsberg. This is an absolute nightmare matchup for the Jackets as they don't have the firepower to keep pace with the Lightning and now are without their safety blanket in goal which makes the Lightning a runaway favourite here and I think laying the puck line is a very reasonable expectation.