I couldn’t have asked for a better night last night as both of my picks hit with ease and netted us some nice profits on the evening. Dating back to last Monday, I have only lost one pick out of seven and all of my winners have come at +101 odds or better. With yesterday’s picks I took the Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars to go OVER the 5.5 total at +110 and a 4-3 victory by the Stars was more than enough to accomplish that feat. Next on the itinerary was the Winnipeg Jets to continue their push towards locking up a playoff spot and knock off the Edmonton Oilers in regulation time which they managed to do by beating the lowly Oilers by a 4-1 count. This is now easily my best run of the season as not only am I hitting just about every pick I make, but hitting these picks at odds of between +101 (Jets last night) and +150 (Habs -1.5 last Thursday) enables some serious profits. I will look to keep the ball rolling tonight as there are eight games on the NHL schedule.
Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning
My Pick – OVER 5 (-125)
The battle of Florida resumes tonight in Tampa Bay as the Panthers and Lightning get together for their third of four meetings this season with each team grabbing a one-goal victory over their previous two meetings this year. As most teams are when they visit the Lightning, the Panthers will be in tough tonight to stop the most dynamic offense the NHL has had to offer this season. Once again led by Steven Stamkos, the Lightning score a league-high 3.23 goals per game and are the NHL’s best team overall on home ice. Their 29-7-1 record at Amalie Arena this year is scary good and it is safe to say that these Tampa home games are a visitor’s worst nightmare. Tampa has scored 12 times over their last three games of a six-game homestand and if history tells us anything there should be more Lightning goals to be had this evening. Steven Stamkos has scored 21 goals over his last 25 games against the Panthers and of course he is once again among the league leaders in goals this season, sitting behind only Alex Ovechkin with 40 goals on the campaign. Stamkos isn’t the only Lightning contributor who has had success against the Panthers as Victor Hedman has seven assists in his last seven games against Florida and actually scored the overtime winner against Florida on October the 9th in Tampa Bay. While Ben Bishop gets the night off tonight in favor of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Roberto Luongo will start for the Panthers and although he has been very good this season, his history against the Lightning doesn’t sound encouraging entering tonight’s contest. Like the majority of goaltenders out there, Luongo has had a tough time winning in Tampa Bay as he is 0-3-1 with a 3.28 goals against average over his last four starts at Tampa. The Lightning aren’t exactly a top-heavy team either as their mass amounts of depth is the main reason why they score so often. Tyler Johnson is actually tied with Stamkos for the team lead with 66 points and has 25 goals to boot. Nikita Kucherov has come out of no where to score 26 goals and Ondrej Palat is building off an impressive rookie campaign with 40 assists and 56 points on the season. The second line trio of Palat, Johnson and Kucherov are a combined +100 on the season. Once that sentence sinks in, you realize this “second line” is better than the first line of many NHL teams. Bottom line here is Tampa Bay is the best scoring team in the league as well as the best home team in the league and that combination has goal scoring written all over it. Take the OVER 5 tonight and snag another winner from Tampa, Florida.