Minnesota Wild (11-7-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (13-6-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 22, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -135 / Minnesota Wild +123 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning play Saturday night at the Amalie Arena.
The Minnesota Wild have won four straight games and just like that have climb in the thick of the Central division. The Wild are just playing solid hockey at both ends, as the offense is averaging 2.9 goals per game and has produced 15 goals during this winning streak. The Minnesota Wild are 9-1 this season when scoring at least three goals. The Wild have also scored a power play goal in three of their last four games. Nino Niederreiter leads Minnesota with nine goals, Jason Pominville has eight assists and Zach Parise has 54 shots on goal. Defensively, Darcy Kuemper has allowed 27 goals on 331 shots and Niklas Backstrom has given up 12 goals on 109 shots faced. This will be the sixth of eight scheduled road games for the Wild this month.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost four of their last six games and are struggling on the offensive end. Although Tampa Bay is averaging 3.5 goals per game on the season, it’s scored two or less in four of its last six games. The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost eight of their last nine games when scoring three or less goals. Steven Stamkos leads Tampa Bay with 12 goals, Tyler Johnson has 15 assists and Nikita Kucherov has 48 shots on goal. Defensively, Ben Bishop has allowed 40 goals on 465 shots and Evgeni Nabokov has given up 16 goals on 123 shots faced. The Lightning have allowed a power play goal in three straight games.
The Wild are 5-12 in their last 17 road games and 5-1 in their last 6 games following a win. The Lightning are 5-1 in their last 6 home games and 1-5 in their last 6 vs. Central. The Wild are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings while the home team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
It's only a matter of time before Tampa Bay's offense wakes up and it's likely going to be here at home where it's been tough to beat. While the Wild have had great success against the Lightning, the home team has controlled this series over the last four games and I look for that to continue.