Anaheim Ducks (15-4-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (13-5-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday November 14, 2013, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -110 / Anaheim Ducks +100 --- Over/Under: 6
The Anaheim Ducks look to get back in the win column with a victory on the road over the Tampa Bay Lightning who is continuing life after losing their top player in Steven Stamkos.
The Ducks have been one of the league’s best teams to start the season baring a striking resemblance to the success they had in the early going last season as they currently sit with a 15-4-1 mark and are atop the NHL standings. Anaheim has a really well balanced attack led by Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf but also have a rock solid defensive unit and an underrated goaltender in Jonas Hiller who is getting himself fine-tuned for the upcoming Olympics with Team Switzerland. Despite their quick start all four of Anaheim’s losses have come on the road and they head into Tampa Bay to face a Lightning team who has only dropped two contests at home all season. Hiller is the likely candidate to get the call here for Anaheim in the crease as he matches up against Ben Bishop of the Lightning.
Tampa Bay suffered perhaps the biggest blow that any team can endure and that is losing their best player to a gruesome injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins have gone through it with Sidney Crosby, the Senators with Erik Karlsson, and now the Lightning will be without Steven Stamkos for the foreseeable future as he broke his right tibia in a game against the Bruins on Monday. However, in the first outing since losing their top point producer the Lightning shut down the Montreal Canadiens on the road and will look for a similar outcome when they return home against Anaheim. The Bolts are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall and sit in first place in the Eastern Conference setting up a battle of the top two games in the game on Thursday night. This should be a great game between two very good teams and while Stamkos is out of this one I see it being a tightly contested affair with each goaltender putting up a fight. I like the side in this contest as well but I’ll have that in the Premium Area but as for the free play I will take the under.