Tampa Bay Lightning (26-14-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (23-17-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 11, 2014, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Philadelphia Flyers -136 / Tampa Bay Lightning +124 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Flyers look to continue their impressive home ice winning streak when they host the Lightning in Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Lightning have been one of the games more impressive teams this season as the preseason expectations in Tampa weren’t overly high but they sit in second place in the Atlantic division and are within striking distance of the Bruins. A lot of people counted the Bolts out after they lost Steven Stamkos to a tibia injury and while it certainly hasn’t been the same without him the Lighting have played very well and with Stammer on his way back soon they can only go up from here. Ben Bishop has put up Vezina type numbers this season and while he will be on the bench in this one he has certainly been the catalyst behind Tampa’s success. Anders Lindback will get the call for the Bolts as he goes up against Steve Mason for the Flyers.
Philly has long had goaltending issues and haven’t had a game changers since the Ron Hextall days but former Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason who was chased out of Columbus has found a niche in Philly and is playing incredibly well at the moment. The Flyers have been one of the game’s biggest underachievers over the past two seasons but they have turned a corner and look very good at the moment as they have won three in a row and 8 of their last 10. The Flyers are getting the nod as the favourite here as they have been playing the better hockey of late and to me they are still the better team despite the Bolts having an edge in the league standings. With Lindback starting for the Lightning I like Philly even more here and I think they get the win at home once again.