Hectic Stretch for Defending Eastern Conference Champs
This is quite the stretch for Tampa Bay with Thursday’s game in Philadelphia being the Lightning’s third in the last four days, all in different arenas. After edging host Buffalo in overtime, the Lightning lost 3-1 at Boston and now are set for a third straight road game.
There is a milestone within reach for Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft currently has 999 career points during the regular season. No other player from his draft class has more than 692 points. He would become the seventh active player with 1,000 career points.
Philadelphia, coming off a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders, is looking to move over the .500 mark at home.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the Lightning (+1400) are tied for fifth in the odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are well back at +20000.
Lightning Figuring Things Out
The wear and tear of three straight runs to the Stanley Cup Finals was hard to miss when the season began.
Eight Eastern Conference teams had more points heading into November than the 5-4-0 Lightning did. Tampa Bay was about as mediocre a team as there was in the NHL with 28 goals scored and 28 allowed in the first nine games.
It has been a different story in November. The goals allowed numbers are still a little higher than normal, but for Tampa Bay, the goals per game numbers have gone from 3.11 to 3.69. Tampa Bay has won six of its last eight games, with both of the losses coming against a Boston Bruins team that has the best record in the NHL.
Seven different players have at least 10 points during the month with Nikita Kucherov leading the way with 23 points (seven goals and 16 assists). Nick Paul is tied for the team lead with seven goals to go with a +11 defensive rating.
The 16 power-play goals have helped as the Lightning are converting on 32% of the power-play chances and only Dallas and Boston have better marks.
The Las Vegas odds went over in seven of Tampa Bay’s last nine games against Eastern Conference teams.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
The Thrill of Victory
The sigh of relief could be heard coming out of the City of Brotherly Love when the Flyers finally won a game.
Philadelphia had lost 10 games in a row with two of the losses ending in overtime and another in a shootout. After failing to score more than two goals in five straight games, the Flyers scored three against the visiting New York Islanders. Sure, one of them was an empty-netter with 34 seconds left by Kevin Hayes but the Flyers will take it.
Hayes is one of the few veteran forwards not on the injured list for the Flyers. Cam Atkinson and Sean Couturier have yet to play a game this season, James van Riemsdyk has been limited to six games and now Travis Konecny joins them on injured reserve.
Carter Hart had lost his last seven games and had allowed at least three goals in each of those contests. He stopped 23 of 24 shots in the 3-1 win against the Islanders as he only allowed one power-play goal. Now the Flyers look to make it two wins in a row.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 30, 2022
The NHL betting lines total has gone under in four of Philadelphia’s last five games.
Lightning vs Flyers Game Injuries
Lightning vs Flyers Head-to-Head
Tampa Bay had won 10 of its last 11 games against the Flyers before Philadelphia erased an early two-goal deficit to stun the favored Lightning on Oct. 18. Noah Cates’ first goal of the season with 7:16 left completed the comeback. Carter Hart stopped 36 of 38 shots as the Flyers were outshot 38-24 in the game.
Five of the previous six games between the teams were decided by at least two goals, with 7-1 and 5-2 wins by Tampa Bay included in those matchups.
None of the five Philadelphia players who had points against the Lightning in last season’s matchups are expected to play. Meanwhile, Lightning captain Stamkos has nine goals and 14 assists in his last 12 regular-season games against the Flyers.
At one point, eight games in a row in the series finished over the total. However, just three of the last seven matchups went over the total.
Lightning vs Flyers Game Information
- Game: Lightning (13-8-1) vs Flyers (8-10-5)
- Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
- Day/Time: Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. ET
- Lightning vs Flyers Live stream: NHL.TV
Lightning vs Flyers Betting Lines
Lightning vs Flyers Picks & Prediction
The teams are headed in different directions with the Flyers just ending a long losing streak and Tampa Bay climbing into playoff position after a sluggish start to the season.
Tampa Bay will be getting center Anthony Cirelli back at some point in December. It is not expected to happen for this game, but the return of one of the most underrated two-way centers in the NHL will be a huge boost. As if missing so many key forwards isn’t enough, now defenseman Anthony DeAngelo is questionable for the Flyers, who are already without veteran blue-liner Ryan Ellis.
Tampa Bay has covered in just three of 11 road games with Philadelphia, which is 6-5 against the spread at home this season. If both teams were at full strength, it would be hard to go against Tampa Bay facing the Flyers. Considering all the key pieces not able to take to the ice for the Flyers, it makes the decision an easier one.
The Tampa Bay Lightning is listed at -220 in our Vegas NHL lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Lightning, you have a chance to win $45. The Philadelphia Flyers are +180, offering a chance to win $180 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Tampa Bay a 68.75% chance to win, with Philadelphia at 35.71%.