Detroit Red Wings (38-20-11) at Tampa Bay Lightning (43-21-7)
|Date & Time||Friday March 20, 2015, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -156 / Detroit Red Wings +141 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Wings look to salvage a Florida split after losing to the Panthers last night as they head into Tampa Bay to do battle with the Lightning.
The Red Wings spoiled a great opportunity to trim the deficit they face in the Atlantic division by going into Sunrise and leaving with a key victory against the Panthers but instead they were upended by a 3-1 final in Roberto Luongo's return to action. The loss keeps the Wings six points back of the Lightning for second place in the division and 10 back of the Canadiens for the Atlantic lead setting up what is looking more and more like a first round matchup against the Bolts and tonight's game could be a determinant in who gets home ice advantage. The Wings will go back with Jimmy Howard in this one after Petr Mrazek got the start last night and he will go up against Ben Bishop.
The Lightning have had a very successful season but it will be all for not if they can't escape the first round of the playoffs this season and a win tonight will give them some confidence and momentum heading into what could be their first round opponent. Tampa sits second in the Eastern Conference with an impressive +46 in goal differential meaning they can not only score the puck but their back end and goaltending has been great as well and come playoff time that should make a big difference especially against Detroit. This will be a more inspired effort tonight from the Wings as last night was a look ahead spot but unfortunately I don't see the result being much different as the Lightning should get a big win.