A couple of teams that are firmly in the playoff hunt, the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning take the ice at Amalie Arena. The first puck will drop at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 12, and you’ll be able to see this Atlantic Division matchup live on New England Sports Network.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
With a moneyline of -140, Tampa Bay heads into the contest as the heavy favorite. The line for Boston is standing at +120, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total sit at -125 over, +105 under.
Boston is 20-12 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.9 units this year. 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2019-20 Bruins team is 8-6 SU on the road.
Boston has converted on 26.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked ninth overall, and it has successfully killed off 84.5 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Bruins have been penalized 3.8 times per game in the 2019-20 season, and 3.0 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 28.2 saves per game with a .927 save percentage, Tuukka Rask (13-6-3) has been the top option in goal for Boston this year. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, head coach Bruce Cassidy may go with Jaroslav Halak (7-6-3 record, .927 save percentage, 2.28 goals against average).
The visiting Bruins have relied on Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak this year. Marchand (47 points) is up to 18 goals and 29 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 14 different games. Pastrnak has 26 goals and 20 assists to his name, and has logged at least one point in 22 games.
On the other side of the rink, Tampa Bay is 15-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 29 regular season outings, 17 of its games have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 7-7 SU at home this year.
The Lightning currently have the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve scored on 28.1 percent of their extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.6 percent of all opponent power plays.
The Lightning have been penalized 4.2 times per game this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 8.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has stopped 28.2 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy has 12 wins, nine losses, and one overtime loss to his credit and has maintained a pedestrian 2.82 goals against average and a poor .910 save percentage this season.
The Bolts offense will be led by Nikita Kucherov (10 goals, 21 assists).
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under
Three of Boston’s last five games have gone under the total.
Boston has managed 29.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Tampa Bay is averaging 35.4 shots per game over its last five home outings.
Four of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 3-1 overall in those games.
This game features two of the more physical defenses in the league. Boston skaters have given out the league’s eighth-most hits per game (24.4) and the Bolts have tallied the ninth-most (23.3).