Minnesota Wild (3-2-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 17, 2013, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Minnesota Wild --- Over/Under:
Two teams of very contrasting styles meet up in Tampa Bay as the high powered Lightning meet the stingy Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota heads into Thursday night’s contest with the Lightning with a 3-2-2 mark on the season but just one of those three victories has come on the road and that’s where they find themselves in this spot against a very talented Tampa Bay squad. Minny prides itself on playing from the crease out as they have a solid goaltending tandem, a strong blue line, and a forward unit that is very good both ways establishing a defense first mentality. The Wild do have some game breakers as well as the likes of Jason Pominville, Dany Heatley, and Zach Parise can all bulge the twine but against a high powered Lightning offense it may not be enough.
The Bolts are one of the surprise teams to start the season as they are 4-2 through their first six contests and they’ll look to make it number five against a tough Wild team looking to avenge a loss. Tampa’s strength is clearly in the offensive zone as they have some of the game’s best in Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis but the goaltending play of Ben Bishop has been the difference for the Lightning this season as he has finally asserted himself as a go to every night tender in the league. Tampa Bay has won two of its first three home contests and for one of the lower market teams in the league Tampa usually does pretty well in their home building and they’ll get another chance to prove it here. The only problem that I foresee is that the Bolts might go with Anders Lindback in net and while he has proven he can steal a game it has been quite some time since he has and as such I am on the other side here and I think Minny can get the best of Tampa in this one.