Columbus Blue Jackets (28-8-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (19-19-4)
|Date & Time||Friday January 13, 2017, 8:00 PM (EST)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Columbus Blue Jackets --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Columbus Blue Jackets look to continue their strong start to the season as they head into Tampa Bay to face off against the Lightning on Friday.
Columbus has had an unbelievable start to the season as they have gone from a league doormat to a Cup contender overnight thanks in large part to their 16 game winning streak and while they have leveled off a bit since that run they still sit atop the league standings heading into the weekend. The Blue Jackets to me are still a group that is playing well over their heads as they are a good team but not the best in the league by any stretch but in a game tonight where they catch a short handed Lightning team playing in a back to back it could be another spot for them to prove they are worthy of playoff discussion. The Jackets are expected to stick with Sergei Bobrovsky here as he has been brilliant this season as he will face off against Andrei Vasilevskiy who is assuming full time duty with Ben Bishop on the shelf.
The Lightning are coming off a game last night at home against the Buffalo Sabres and will have no time to rest for the Metro division leaders coming to town as the Bolts look to get back in the mix for top spot in the Atlantic division. Tampa Bay came into the season as a trendy pick to win the Stanley Cup as they have a well balanced attack, a blue line anchored by Victor Hedman, and a goaltending tandem that rivals any other in the NHL but the loss of Steven Stamkos has been huge and now with the trade deadline not far off and Tampa underachieving there could be some big pieces on the move.
The Blue Jackets are 7-1 in their last eight against a team with a losing record and 8-2 in their last 10 road games while the Bolts are 1-5 in their last six against the Metro and 10-4 in their last 14 Friday games. Columbus is a team I like to fade as I think they are way overrated but this is a good spot for them as they should have the edge on the road against a tired Lightning side