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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 4/12/19 NHL - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning
Date & Time Friday April 12, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)
Location
Amalie Arena
Tampa, Florida
The Line
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets +200 / Tampa Bay Lightning -245 -- Over/Under: 6
TV Channel
CNBC
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning meet Friday in game two of the NHL first round at the Amalie Arena.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a chance to be the surprise of the playoffs by snagging a 2-0 series lead on the clear favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Columbus Blue Jackets are averaging four goals per game and are scoring on 50 percent of their power play opportunities. Josh Anderson leads Columbus with one goal, Artemi Panarin has one assist and David Savard has three shots on goal. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing three goals per game and are killing 100 percent of their opponents power plays. Sergei Bobrovsky has given up three goals on 29 shots faced. The Columbus Blue Jackets have allowed three or less goals in 10 of their last 13 games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning need a victory here to even up the series and improve their chances of making it out of the first round. The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on zero percent of their power play opportunities. Alex Killorn leads Tampa Bay with one goal, J.T. Miller has one assist and Anthony Cirelli has four shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing four goals per game and are killing 100 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up four goals on 26 shots faced. The Tampa Bay Lightning have allowed three or more goals in eight of their last 10 games.

The Blue Jackets are 6-0 in their last 6 road games, 1-4 in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and 6-1 in their last 7 vs. Eastern Conference. The Lightning are 42-9 in their last 51 games playing on 1 days rest, 46-12 in their last 58 games as a favorite and 40-14 in their last 54 home games. The Blue Jackets are 4-10 in the last 14 meetings in Tampa Bay and 1-6 in the last 7 meetings. The over is 5-2 in Blue Jackets last 7 overall. The over is 8-2 in Lightning last 10 overall.

The Tampa Bay Lightning finished the season playing questionable defense, and those issues showed up in game one where they somehow blew a 3-0 lead after the first period and were outscored 0-3 in the third. The Lightning were head and shoulders the most consistent team in hockey all season and those trends are ridiculously strong. Part of me wants to take the Blue Jackets and the big plus money, but I can't bring myself to pull the trigger based on what the Tampa Bay Lightning have shown us all season. If there's one team that will figure it out and bounce back, it's the Lightning. The price isn't great, but it's the most likely scenario. 

Pick:
Tampa Bay Lightning -245

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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