The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Columbus Blue Jackets looking for a much-needed win. Going by the latest news, stats, and injury reports, Tampa Bay should have goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy back as it looks to cash in as a sizable favorite on the NHL betting odds. But Columbus has a hot goaltender of its own.
Blue Jackets’ Goaltenders Under Siege
A third-round draft pick in 2017, Daniil Tarasov has been filling in for Columbus’s absent goaltenders. He has been stalwart despite the four losses (three as a starter), having posted a 2.75 goals saved above expectations with three of three quality starts.
However, Columbus has been woefully outshot and outperformed in Tarasov’s appearances in net. The Blue Jackets, in his four games, were outshot by an average of 17, including an embarassing game against Carolina on New Year’s Day.
Even if Columbus has a .500 record, we can consider forking this team as only Tarasov and the netminders are keeping it on life support. That’s good news for folks with saves as a stat in fantasy, though.
Real MVP Returns to Lightning
The star-studded Lightning have up to five players worthy of being included in the Hart Trophy discussion for the past three seasons. But if it wasn’t apparent then, it is now that Vasilevskiy is a tier above everyone else.
The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner sat out the last few games due to COVID-19 protocols and Tampa Bay tanked, going 1-2-1 without him. The Lightning’s only win came against the atrocious Montreal Canadiens and they needed overtime to do it.
Tampa Bay’s offense has still been great. The team has outshot and outchanced opponents regularly, but has been outscored 21-11 with a sorry PDO of 91.6 in the last four games because of the poor play in net. With Vasilevskiy stabilizing this all-important position, bettors can peacefully bet online on the Lightning again.
Tampa Bay vs Blue Jackets Head to Head
|15.38%||Power Play %||16.67%|
|83.33%||Penalty Kill %||84.62%|
Tampa Bay vs Blue Jackets Game Information
- Date: Tuesday
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Nationwide Arena
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets Live Stream: NHL Live
Tampa Bay vs Blue Jackets Betting Lines
|Puck Line||+1½ |
Tampa Bay vs Blue Jackets Prediction
Tampa is due to have a performance after being humiliated for most of the past four games. Even if Vasilevskiy is a bit rusty and not at his best, the Lightning should be able to contain the offensively challenged Blue Jackets despite their lofty home records: 10-4-1 and 11-4 on the puck line.
Special teams has not been much of a factor when these teams meet, which would make it more difficult for the Blue Jackets to score. Tarasov can stand on his head, but as his winless record has shown, it only delays the inevitable on the sportsbook.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -235
The Blue Jackets are actually averaging a top-12 offense at home, which also explains why 10 of their 15 home games have gone over. But overall, this team has a tough time generating offense thanks to being outplayed and held up in their own zone. Tarasov should be good enough to keep the scoring lower, though.
Pick: Under 5½ (-115)
Parlay: Lightning and Under 5½ at +203