Tampa Bay Lightning (37-24-7) at Ottawa Senators (28-27-13)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 20, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Ottawa Senators -110 / Tampa Bay Lightning +100 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Senators play for their postseason lives on home ice tonight as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Lightning are riding high after an offensive outburst from Steven Stamkos last night who netted a natural hat trick against the Maple Leafs and led the Lightning to a 5-3 victory. The Win was massive for the Bolts as they went on the road and upended a team not only in their division but one who is competing with them for playoff positioning and with the victory the Lightning moved three points clear of the Leafs and into a tie with the Canadiens. Tampa Bay has had an up and down season with tons of emotion ranging from elation due to their very hot start, and the play of Ben Bishop between the pipes but have also encountered hardship as Stamkos missed most of the season and the whole Martin St. Louis saga that ended with the former captain getting shipped out of town. Tampa continues their rollercoaster in Ottawa tonight against a very desperate Senators team that has been awful of late.
Ottawa has been hit with a dose of reality over the last few weeks as the team that defied the odds over the last two seasons and one that had massive expectations this season is finally playing like the team many thought they were. Ottawa does have some skill don’t get me wrong and Paul Maclean has been able to generate success with this team but they were projected to finish at the bottom of the league standings two years prior to this one and ended up pulling off a playoff upset over Montreal instead. The Sens are still alive in the Eastern Conference sitting seven points behind Columbus but things look bleak especially between the pipes as it looks as though Robin Lehner has lost his confidence. I have no idea why the Sens are favoured here and if Ben Bishop gets the call again I think the Bolts steamroll here but even with Lindback I think Tampa Bay has enough in the tank for two wins in back to back nights.