Tampa Bay Lightning (56-23-5) at New Jersey Devils (44-31-9)
|Date & Time||Monday April 16, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New Jersey Devils +120 / Tampa Bay Lightning -157 --- Over/Under: 6
The Tampa Bay Lighting and New Jersey Devils meet Monday in game three of the NHL Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at the Prudential Center.
The Tampa Bay Lighting can all but put this series to bed with another victory here and taking a 3-0 lead. The Tampa Bay Lighting are averaging 3.5 goals per game and are scoring on 23.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Alex Killorn leads Tampa Bay with three goals, Ondrej Palat has three assists and Nikita Kucherov has six shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lighting are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 76.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up five goals on 75 shots faced. The Tampa Bay Lighting have allowed three or more goals in 10 of their last 14 games.
The New Jersey Devils need a victory here in order to have any realistic chance of getting back into this series. The New Jersey Devils are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on 21.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Travis Zajac leads New Jersey with one goal, Taylor Hall has one assist and Blake Coleman has five shots on goal. Defensively, the New Jersey Devils are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 81.8 percent of their opponents power plays. Cory Schneider has given up zero goals on 10 shots faced and Keith Kinkaid has allowed nine goals on 46 shots. The New Jersey Devils have allowed a combined 15 goals in their last three games.
The Lightning are 4-0 in their last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games, 7-3 in their last 10 Monday games and 64-30 in their last 94 overall. The Devils are 5-1 in their last 6 home games, 5-11 in their last 16 Conference Quarterfinals games and 16-37 in their last 53 Monday games. The Lightning are 5-16 in the last 21 meetings in New Jersey, the home team is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings and the over is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings.
The home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings between these two teams and despite how ugly the first two games of this series have been, the Devils have been on the winning side in three of the last five games overall. With that said, the Lighting have dominated the first two games of this series, getting whatever they want offensively. In fact, the Devils out shot the Lightning 44-25 in game two, and they still lost 5-3. I'm always willing to take a shot with plus money, but the Lighting are simply the better team and are expereinced enough to keep their foot on the neck. Tampa Bay inches closer to ending this series quickly.