Detroit Red Wings (41-30-11) at Tampa Bay Lightning (46-31-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 13, 2016, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning +105 / Detroit Red Wings -125 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Red Wings and Lightning meet up in Tampa Bay for game one of their Atlantic division playoff matchup on Wednesday night.
The Detroit Red Wings qualified for their 25th straight NHL playoffs this season and have had some stretches where they have played the part of an Eastern Conference contender this season but with back to back losses to end the year they certainly backed their way in and haven’t been playing their best over the last two weeks. The Wings finished third in the Atlantic division with 93 points and were 10 back of the division winning Florida Panthers but if there is any team they could feel excited about drawing in the eight team field the Wings must be happy to see the Lightning who are shorthanded without Anton Stralman, Steven Stamkos, and now possibly Tyler Johnson who was injured in the regular season finale. Jimmy Howard is expected to be the starter in game one as he will face off against Vezina contender Ben Bishop who will be a huge part of the team’s success in this playoff run.
The Lightning probably would have been slated in to make a run back to the Eastern Conference final if they were healthy but without one of the league’s most dynamic players and the heart and soul of this Lightning side it is very tough to even fathom them getting a couple of wins in this series. Tampa Bay still has some very strong pieces and will be a tough team to rid of, especially for a Red Wings side that is very underwhelming this season and perhaps didn’t deserve to get into the playoff altogether but the Atlantic top to bottom Is very weak and while one team has to emerge to the Eastern Conference final it is clear the Metro is the cream of the Eastern Conference crop. This is going to be a tough series to figure out, as the first round usually is but with so much uncertainty with both rosters and both looking like a fraction of their former selves it is tough to dictate, but in the end I do think the Lightning have enough in the tank to start the series and get a win behind a stellar performance from Ben Bishop.