Montreal Canadiens (16-17-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (26-7-2)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 28, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning / Montreal Canadiens --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Montreal Canadiens look for their seventh win in their last nine tries against the Tampa Bay Lightning when the two sides meet up in Florida on Thursday night.
The Canadiens look to extend their hot play of late as they head into Tampa Bay to face off against the league’s top team, and as winners of six of their last seven against the Eastern Conference and a 4-1 mark in their last five against Atlantic division foes the Habs are in a nice spot to do so. Montreal struggled in the early going this season but look as though they are a rejuvenated bunch now that Carey Price is back in the lineup, but as it stands right now it is backup Antii Niemi who is expected to make the start here as he will face off against Adrei Vasilevskiy who gives the Bolts a huge edge in net if it is indeed Niemi getting the call. Montreal has had their success against Tampa Bay though as winners of six of their last eight against the Bolts but they have their work cut out for them on this night.
The Lightning meanwhile have been one of the league’s best teams this season and aside from a very human like week and a half this team has been on fire and look like a group that could very well cruise into top spot in the league by season’s end. The Bolts head into tonight’s game with a 16-5 record in their last 21 games against divisional foes and have 28 wins in their last 52 games putting them firmly in place in the race for the President’s Trophy and if they can add in a piece at the trade deadline at the blue line or another top end forward this group would create matchup nightmares for any potential playoff opponent.
The Habs are 2-5 in their last seven Thursday games and are 6-2 in their last eight against the Lightning while the Bolts are 21-7 in their last 28 at home and 16-7 in their last 23 against the East. This line is closed right now as we await goaltending matchups but either way I think the Bolts are the play as they outclass the Canadiens here.