Lightning Hoping To Push Penguins Back Down
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their ugly four-game losing skid on Saturday but they didn’t exactly snap out of it emphatically. They were able to get a 3-2 win in overtime against the St. Louis Blues, a team that’s also been miserable of late.
Even with the win, Pittsburgh has lost five of their last seven. Will the Tampa Bay Lightning push the Penguins back down into the losing column again or will Pittsburgh surprise on the NHL betting odds?
Tampa Bay, Vasilevsky Has Faded Slightly
The Lightning isn’t playing poorly but they’re also not playing well. The team has won two of three, five of eight, and eight of 13. It’s not bad but they’re barely just above .500 over the last couple of weeks.
The main issue appears to be their goaltending these days. It seems to run either really hot or cold depending on the day. Andrei Vasilevskiy is 28-14-2 with a 2.55 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
However, those who bet online should note that he’s allowed one goal or less four times in his last eight (allowing two goals in total in those four games) and allowed three or more in the other four starts (allowing 20 goals in those other four games).
That inconsistency is what’s really hampering this team from picking up some momentum right now.
Goaltending Clear Issue for Pittsburgh
The Penguins have lost five of their last seven games because they’re also struggling between the pipes. In those five losses, they’ve allowed a total of 27 goals.
Three different goalies have started for them throughout this stretch, so it hasn’t just been a poor stretch of play from one player. They just haven’t performed well as a team lately on that end of the ice. Something that will need to change if they want to beat the Lightning.
Tristan Jarry has started in the team’s last three games, meaning we might see Casey DeSmith back in the crease for this matchup. DeSmith is 10-12-4 this year with a 3.28 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
Jarry, on the other hand, has put together a 1-2-0 stretch in February with a 4.14 GAA and a .874 save percentage. He missed a significant amount of time due to an injury and appears to have some rust right now.
Lightning vs Penguins Game Injuries
Lightning vs Penguins Head-to-Head
We’ve seen these squads meet up once this season, with the Penguins winning 6-2.
Lightning vs Penguins Information
- Game: Lightning (37-17-4) Penguins (28-21-9)
- Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
- Day/Time: Sunday, 6 p.m. ET
- Lightning vs Penguins Live Stream: NHL TV
Lightning vs Penguins Betting Lines
Lightning vs Penguins Picks and Prediction
There’s a lot of star power on the ice in this one. Pittsburgh boasts a trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel to counter the Lightning trio of Kucherov, Stamkos, and Point.
However, neither team is playing well in net right now. We don’t know what we’ll get out of Vasilesvky and the Pens netminders have been struggling too.
The Lightning are a small favorite in the sportsbook. However, the best choice for your NHL picks is the over in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Tampa Bay is listed at -105 in our Vegas NHL lines. So, if you wager $100 on the Lightning, there’s a chance to win $95. Pittsburgh is -115 with a chance to win $87 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Penguins a 53.49% chance to win, with the Lightning at 51.22%.