Tampa Bay Lightning (35-29-9) at Detroit Red Wings (29-32-11)
|Date & Time||Friday March 24, 2017, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Detroit Red Wings +100 / Tampa Bay Lightning -110 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Tampa Bay Lightning look for a huge road win on Friday night as they head into the Motor City to face off with the Detroit Red Wings.
The Bolts got their biggest victory of the season on Thursday night as they doubled up on the Boston Bruins to the tune of a 6-3 final and now have a chance to move within a single point of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a win in Detroit heading into the weekend. The Lightning came into the season as a trendy pick to win the Stanley Cup but a slow start and a season ending injury to Steven Stamkos had the Bolts derailed and many left them for dead, but they have been among the league’s best over the last few weeks and are making a late push in the Atlantic division. Tampa has nine games left on their regular season schedule and while they likely won’t catch the Leafs, Sens, and Canadiens for one of the automatic berths in the Atlantic they are certainly in the hunt for the final wild card spot as they battle with the Islanders and Bruins.
The Red Wings meanwhile are in unfamiliar territory as they are almost a shoe in to miss out on the playoffs for the first time in a quarter century as they are 13 points behind the Bruins for the final wild card spot and have just 10 games to make up that ground. Detroit has been a staple in the NHL postseason for 25 seasons and they are one of the most consistent, and well run franchises in sports but they are in the midst of a rebuild and reload as they have some moving parts right now and a number of guys who are nearing the end of their journey in the NHL. Petr Mrazek is expected to get the start but we could also see Jimmy Howard in the crease as they will take on Andrei Vasilevskiy who is expected to get the call after Petr Budaj got the win for Tampa last night.
The Lightning are 21-7 in their last 28 road games against a team with a losing home record and 4-1 in their last five against the Atlantic while the Wings are 8-22 in their last 30 against the Atlantic and 10-21 in their last 31 home games. Tampa needs to keep rolling and while they are in a back to back and on the road they are the play here at a very cheap price.