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Vancouver Canucks at Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL: Thursday, October 11, Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida, 7:30 PM ET
The 2018-19 NHL season continues with a clash between the Vancouver Canucks (5th in Pacific Division) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (6th in Atlantic Division), and the hosts are looking for the second win of the new campaign.
The Canucks are desperate to record the first win on the road
The Vancouver Canucks finished the last season in the 14th place in the Western Conference with 73 points and 264 goals conceded, the worst defensive record in the conference. They already allowed 14 goals in three games in this campaign, suffering consecutive defeats to Calgary and Carolina, after an opening win over the Flames. The latest 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes was no surprise considering that Vancouver conceded three goals in the first period, while Sven Baertschi with three points (2 G 1 A) and Alexander Edler with two dishes, were the only bright spots for the Canucks. Brock Boeser and Daniel Sedin led the Canucks in points last year as they recorded 55 each, while Henrik Sedin had 50 points (3 G 47 A), and they should be the ones to contribute offensively here.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2018
Jacob Markstrom will start at the goal for the Canucks, and he had 23 wins and 26 losses in 60 games in the 2017-18 campaign. Markstrom allowed 154 goals (2.71 per game) and recorded 1745 saves (.912 SV %) with career-high two shutouts. Markstrom is 1-2 as he faced 103 shots so far in the 2018-19 and allowed 12 goals (4.03 per game) with 103 saves (.883 SV %).
The Lightning beat the Panthers after penalties to open the season
The Tampa Bay Lightning ended the lasts season in the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 113 points and league-high 296 goals (3.60 per contest) but they were stopped in seven games in the EC finals by the eventual champions the Washington Capitals. Tampa Bay trailed 1-0 in an opening game of this campaign with the Florida Panthers for the most part of the tilt but Anthony Cirelli’s shorthanded goal forced the game to the penalties where the hosts were better. Nikita Kucherov led the Lightning in points last year as he recorded 100 points (39 G 61 A); Steven Stamkos had 86 (27 G 59 A), while Brayden Point added 66 points (32 P 34 A).
On our opener: "We're a much better team than what we showed early on in that game."
Practice day | Jon Cooper: pic.twitter.com/xpiyEgEWrn
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 8, 2018
Andrei Vasilevskiy is the starting goaltender for the Lightning and he had 44 wins and 17 losses in 65 games in the 2017-18 season. Vasilevskiy allowed 167 goals (2.62 per game) and recorded 2075 saves (.920 SV %) with career-high eight shutouts. Vasilevskiy is 1-0 as faced 43 shots so far in the 2018-19 and allowed one goal (0.92 per game) with 42 saves (.977 SV %).
- 22-5 in their last 27 games played on Thursday
- 23-9 in their last 32 vs. Western Conference rivals
- 5-2 in their last seven vs. Pacific rivals
- 20-43 in their last 63 vs. Eastern Conference rivals
- 19-43 in their last 62 games playing on one day rest
- 1-8 in their last nine vs. Atlantic rivals
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Tampa Bay won seven out of the previous ten H2H encounters including the last two, while the Lightning were victorious in five out of the past eight meetings at the Amalie Arena. Vancouver conceded even 12 goals on the road so far in the season which is the highest number in the NHL at the moment and there are no signs their defense will improve anytime soon. Tampa Bay managed to score just one goal in regulation against Florida, but the league’s top offense from 2017-18 will have a decent chance to score at least three or four goals on this one.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning (-270)
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 6.5 which might seem a bit high, and even though only two out of the previous ten H2H duels produced 7+ goals, all three of the Canucks’ games this season produced seven or more goals. Over is 17-5-3 in the last 25 meetings, while over is 8-1-2 in Lightning previous 11 Thursday games, so I am going with over 6.5 goals here.
Prediction: Over 6 (-115)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Tampa Bay was up after the first period in both previous H2H encounters, scoring three and conceding none in the process, and even though the Lightning trailed in the opener against Florida, I don’t think it will be the case on this one. I bet moneyline on the hosts and in case the 1st period ends without a winner, you’ll get your stake back.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning (-225)
Half-Time Side Pick
The last two Vancouver’s games produced four goals apiece in the first period and I don’t think their leaky defense will withstand pressure in the 1st period here. They will likely concede a goal or two, while the Canucks could score themselves on the other end.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (-140)