Anaheim Ducks (4-4-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (9-1-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 28, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -170 / Anaheim Ducks +153 --- 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 to extend Anaheim’s ugly start to the season as the two sides meet up in St. Petersburg on Saturday night.
The Ducks have had a tough start to the season and are coming off an 8-3 drubbing at the hands of the Florida Panthers, and to add injury to insult the Ducks will be without Cam Fowler and Kevin Bieksa for an extended period of time leaving their blue line in a bit of a pinch. Anaheim still has one of the best top fours in the league at the back and still have a pretty solid roster in the offensive zone but they haven’t been able to get it together in the early part of the season as they are 4-4-1 in their first nine games and have some tough losses on that list. Anaheim is expected to send John Gibson to the crease as he will face off against Andrei Vasilevskiy who has led the Lightning to an impressive 9-1-1 record through their first 11 games sitting atop the league standings.
The Bolts look like a Stanley Cup contender and are living up to expectations through the first few weeks of the season as many had this group pegged for a deep playoff run as they search for their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. Tampa is loaded across the board as they have the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stmakos, and Tyler Johnson up front and Victor Hedman and rookie sensation Mikhail Sergachev anchoring their blue line, all in front of Vasilevskiy who has emerged as one of the league’s best young goatlenders.
The Ducks are 12-2 in their last 14 after allowing five or more in their previous game and 1-7 in their last eight on one day’s rest while the Lightning are 10-1 in their last 11 home games and 8-0 in their last eight against a team with a losing record. Tampa is one of the league’s while Anaheim is bound for a regression and while the line isn’t great here I think taking Tampa in regulation is well worth the risk.