NHL - Best Matchup of the Week & Betting Pick: Lightning vs. Bruins

NHL - Best Matchup of the Week & Betting Pick: Lightning vs. Bruins

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins will square off for the first time this season. The two Atlantic Division rivals will meet four times during the regular season, and their head-to-head battles could decide who wins the division. There are several terrific matchups around the NHL this week, but this is clearly the best game of the week.

Tampa Bay has bolted out to the best record in the Eastern Conference, and lead the Atlantic Division with 39 points on the season. The Lightning enter the week riding a two game winning streak, and have won five out of their last six overall. Boston has started to fall off the pace as of late, but still come into this game with 32 points on the year. The Bruins have gone just 5-5 in their last ten games entering the week. This game will feature the highest scoring team in the league (Tampa Bay) vs. the second hardest team to score on (Boston).

Lightning Have Plenty of Weapons

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been acquiring talent for a few seasons, and it is all on display this season. The Lightning are averaging 3.78 goals per game this season, and they have been deadly on the power play. Tampa Bay has converted on 27.6 percent of their power play chances. They have also been terrific on the penalty kill, killing off 81.1 percent of their penalties. There is not anything that the Lightning don't do well this season.

Right winger Nikita Kucherov has been the Lightning offensive MVP this season. Kucherov leads the team with 27 assists and 38 points on the season. Center Brayden Point has scored 19 goals to lead the team, but the Lightning have five different players who have scored at least 8 goals. Tampa Bay has used two goalies this season, and they are giving up just 2.93 goals per game this season.

Bruins Dealing With Injuries

The Boston Bruins are dealing with a ton of injuries to their top players right now, and their play on the ice has been affected. The Bruins have been without defenseman Zdeno Chara and center Patrice Bergeron for a few weeks, but just recently loss another player. Kevan Miller was struck in the throat with a puck, and will miss at least five weeks. Even with the injuries, the Bruins have given up just 2.46 goals per game, the second best defensive average in the NHL.

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has posted a 2.06 goals against average this season, and has recorded a pair of shutouts. Left winger David Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 19 goals and 30 points on the season. The Bruins will need to find offense if they are going to keep up with Tampa Bay.

Boston Plays Tough, Lightning Win

The Tampa Bay Lightning are catching the Boston Bruins at the right time. Boston is banged up, and they are a shell of the team that they could be. The Bruins have continued to play hard despite the injuries, but they don't have the weapons to win games in the NHL. Tampa Bay is an offensive juggernaut, and they haven't been stopped all season long. Boston doesn't give up many goals, but they will in this game. Bet the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Boston Bruins.