The mismatch of the night in the NHL Tuesday appears to be when Carolina, which is fighting to stay out of the Metropolitan Division cellar, visits the best team in the league, Atlantic Division leader Tampa Bay. The Bolts are the biggest betting favorites in the NHL odds.
Lightning Are Home Favorites in NHL Odds vs. HurricanesNHL.com/tvRadio: 99.9 FM (Carolina) / 970 WFLA (Tampa Bay)Opening NHL Odds: Lightning -205, Hurricanes +175 (5.5)
Season SeriesThey teams have met just once, a 5-1 Tampa Bay win in Raleigh on Oct. 24. Steven Stamkos had two assists, and current NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov added a goal with 4 seconds left. Tyler Johnson had a power-play goal and an assist, rookie Mikhail Sergachev also scored and Ryan Callahan added an empty-net goal for the Lightning, who scored three goals in the final 2:33 to turn a tight game into a blowout. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots for Tampa Bay. Jaccob Slavin scored and Scott Darling made 24 saves for the Hurricanes.
Why Bet on Carolina?The Hurricanes (19-14-8) come off their worst loss of the season, 7-1 in Boston on Saturday. The Canes allowed five first-period goals. Jordan Staal scored the Hurricanes’ only goal. Staal has points in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season. The co-captain has 11 goals and 24 points in 41 games played this season.“We’re going to have to forget about this one quickly,” Staal said of the loss. “[We need to get back to] what we’ve been doing for a while now: working hard, for one, skating, executing with the puck, competing, faceoffs, all the stuff we take pride in.”Scott Darling made 23 saves in the defeat. He has now lost three straight in net for Carolina and has just one win in his last nine starts. Darling’s record fell to 8-11-6 with a 2.97 GAA, and an .893 save percentage.Forward Sebastian Aho suffered a leg injury Saturday in the first period and did not return. Aho saw his six-game points streak come to an end as he had been the Hurricanes best player of late. He has 13 goals and 33 points in 41 games. He started off the season slowly, not scoring in his first 15 games but had been flying of late.Aho (lower body) skated Monday morning, but his status for Tuesday remains unclear. He didn’t appear to practicing with limitations, while working with linemates Teuvo Teravainen and Staal, but coach Bill Peters said he received “mixed reviews” from the forward’s session. Aho will skate again on Tuesday morning before his status is determined for Carolina’s game versus Tampa Bay.Lee Stempniak (upper body) has been taken off injured reserve. Stempniak hasn’t played yet this season for the Hurricanes, but his debut could come Tuesday. He produced 16 goals and 40 points in 82 games in 2016-17.
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?Tampa Bay continues to pace the NHL for wins (30), points (63), ROW (28), points percentage (.750), goals (153) and goal differential (+52). The Lightning are off to their best start in franchise history with 63 points through 42 games, seven points better than the 56 points put up by the 2014-15 team (26-12-4) through 42 games.The Lightning stopped a rare two-game skid with a 5-2 win at Detroit on Sunday to complete a five-game road trip. Louis Domingue got his first win of the season. Domingue was acquired from Arizona in November and called up at the end of the December because of an injury to regular backup Peter Budaj. The 25-year-old stopped 34 of 36 shots to improve to 1-6-0 this season with a 4.02 goals against average and .870 save percentage.Yanni Gourde stayed hot by notching two goals and an assist in the win. That gives him six points in his last five games. Gourde has a surprising 14 goals and 30 points this season in 42 games. Defenseman Dan Girardi left after taking a shot to the head/neck area. He’s listed as day-to-day.The Lightning have won six in a row at home over Carolina, five of the six victories decided by one goal and three of the six needing overtime to determine a winner. Tampa Bay is 15-2-1 in its last 18 games versus Carolina. The Bolts’ Vasilevskiy has never lost in four career starts vs. CAR, going 4-0-0 and allowing just eight total goals. He’ll be back in net.Ondrej Palat is on a three-game assist streak (4 assists total) vs. the Hurricanes. Ryan Callahan has scored four goals in his last four games against the Canes. Braydon Coburn has more career goals vs. Carolina (5) than he does against any other NHL team. Kucherov is on a three-game scoring streak vs. Carolina (2-4–6).
Latest NHL Odds Trends
- Carolina is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
- Carolina is 8-4 SU in the last 12 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Carolina’s last 6 games
- Tampa Bay is 13-4 SU in the last 17 games
- Tampa Bay is 8-1 SU in the last 9 games at home
- The total went OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 8 games at home