The Tampa Bay Lightning can complete a two-game sweep of the visiting Carolina Hurricanes in the second of a back-to-back on Tuesday night.
The Lightning (30-13-2) took a 4-3 lead in their season series with Carolina (29-10-5) on Monday. The reigning champions fired 36 shots on the Hurricanes’ Petr Mrazek, and the Czech netminder let one too many get by. Mrazek stopped the puck 33 times, but Yanni Gourde’s put-back goal with 2:10 left in OT iced the 3-2 win for Tampa Bay.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 25 of the Hurricanes’ 27 shot attempts, earning his fourth win in five games. The 2019 Vezina Trophy winner is 27-7-1 with a stingy 2.05 GAA,goals-against average and a rock solid .930 save percentage. Vasilevskiy is the frontrunner to win the Vezina Trophy again this year, and with good reason.
Tampa Bay trails only the Colorado Avalanche, regarding odds to win the Stanley Cup, and Vasilevskiy is the ship’s anchor. On Tuesday night, Vasilevskiy is squaring off with Carolina’s Alex Nedeljkovic, who is 10-4-2 with a 1.92 GAA. Nedeljkovic split two decisions against the Lightning, including a shutout in the win.
This game marks the regular-season series finale for these two Central Division heavyweights, and first place hangs in the balance. Our updated NHL betting odds show that the hometown Lightning (-115) are slight favorites over the dangerous Hurricanes.
Bolts and Canes Not Great ATS, Bet Lightning Moneyline -115
Both the Lightning and Hurricanes are below average against the spread, so it’s not recommended to put your money on the pucklines. The best bet on the table is Tampa Bay -115 for the straight-up win over Carolina. The Lightning own a sparkling 16-5 record at Amalie Arena this season and Vasilevskiy has the edge over Nedeljkovic.
Tampa Bay ranks in the top 10 in all major statistical categories and has a slightly better overall team than Carolina. Specifically, the Hurricanes’ shooting percentage and goal-scoring capability is what will make the difference here. The Lightning have a superior goalie and offensive unit, and are playing at home. It will likely be a very close game, perhaps heading once again to overtime, but expect the Bolts to prevail. Get the latest NHL odds in our online sportsbook.
NHL Free Pick $$$: Tampa Bay Lightning -115