Free Pick: Lightning/Flames Over 6.5
Calgary is 3-1 Over/Under their previous 4 matchups against Tampa Bay
Calgary is 4-3 Over/Under their previous 7 home matchups against the Lightning
Calgary Recent Games
4-4 Over/Under their previous 8 games
5-2-1 Over/Under their previous 8 home games
6-1 Over/Under their previous 7 home games versus Eastern conference teams
3-2 Over/Under their previous 5 home games versus Atlantic division teams
5-5-1 Over/Under their previous 11 games versus teams above .500
Tampa Bay Recent Games
4-1 Over/Under their previous 5 games
6-2 Over/Under their previous 8 road games
9-3 Over/Under their previous 12 road games versus Western conference teams
6-1 Over/Under their previous 7 road games versus Pacific division teams
6-5-1 Over/Under their previous 12 games versus teams above .500
It’ll be Andrei Vasilevskiy starting at goalie for Tampa Bay tonight and he’s coming off a nice 5-2 road win versus the Canucks on Tuesday. He owns a 2-0-1 record since returning from injury reserve with a 2.61 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Most of his recent wins are thanks to a hot Tampa Bay offense that has scored at least four goals in each of those outings. Vasilevskiy has allowed 5, 1 and 6 goals in each of his last three appearances, and versus Calgary last season he allowed 4 goals against in Calgary and 5 goals against in Tampa Bay. I think his matchup tonight will be tough once again as the Flames have scored at least 3 goals in seven of their last eight at home. They rank 6th in the league for average goals scored (3.49) to go along with 12th in the league for average shots on net (32.20)..
On the other side it should be Mike Smith returning to action for Calgary. He’s been out since December 12th and could very likely be a little rusty coming into this game. Before his injury, Smith had allowed 3+ goals in two of his last four. He owns an 11-7-1 record this year with a 2.88 GAA and .894 save percentage. Last season against Tampa Bay we saw him give up 6 goals against at home, and 1 goal against on the road. The Lightning haven’t really been struggling to score goals lately, even when on the road. They’ve scored 4+ in each of their last five road games and rank #1 in the league for average goals scored this season (4.09). Add in the fact that they’re ranked 6th for average shots on net (33.23) and Smith figures to be in for a long night..
Calgary could potentially get back right wingers James Neal (7 points this season) and Sam Bennett (10 points this season) tonight. As for Tampa Bay, Ryan Callahan (8 points this season) has been day to day and could return tonight as well. Both of these teams lead their division and that should make this a pretty good game. I can’t really see the under being an option here, so I’ll be taking the over.