Tampa Bay Lightning (14-5-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (13-4-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 16, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Phoenix Coyotes -157 / Tampa Bay Lightning +143 --- 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 their third straight win without Steven Stamkos as they head to the desert to face the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have shocked a lot of people with how well they started this season but perhaps shocked even more people with the way they have played since losing their best player and their leader Steven Stamkos. The Bolts’ start forward and one of the best in the game was injured after sliding into the goal post last Monday and the collective gasp by all Lightning fans was heard loud and clear. However, the Lightning have been remarkable since losing Stammer as they have recorded wins over the Canadiens in Montreal and walloped the Ducks in Tampa Bay in the following game setting up Saturday night’s encounter with the Coyotes. The Bolts lost a ton of firepower with Stamkos out of the lineup but their defensive game has been elevated and the secondary scoring picked up the slack especially against Anaheim. Ben Bishop is slated to start for Tampa as he takes on Mike Smith of the Coyotes.
The Coyotes have been a very tough team to beat this season as they have won 13 of their first 20 games and have earned a single point in 3 more of those contests putting them in third place in the Pacific division behind the Ducks and Sharks. Phoenix doesn’t have a ton of firepower offensively but do have a well balanced attack and a sound defensive core plus a great goaltender in Mike Smith. The Coyotes seem to win games that no one gives them a shake at and can lay an egg in games they’re favoured to win. However, they are playing at home in this one where they have yet to lose in regulation and while my theory on the Lightning falling apart with Stamkos hasn’t fabricated yet and may not I am banking on it once again as I think the depth of the Coyotes especially on defense will be the difference maker.