Add Red Wings (+137) To Your NHL Picks In Playoffs Game 1 Against Lightning

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 5:16 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 5:16 PM GMT

The Playoffs have begun and our handicapper looks into the intangibles NHL pick of Game 1 with the Lightning hosting the Red Wings.

In this first game of the quarterfinal series in the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Red Wings travel to play the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning finished in second place in the Atlantic division, while the Red Wings took third and the last playoff spot after winning a tie breaker over the Boston Bruins.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are favored at home in this game, as they should be, because they play much better at home than on the road. The current odds have the Lightning favored at -143 at Heritage, while the O/U total can be found at the very common number of 5 across the NHL odds boards.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning
By all measures available to those that stop pucks for a living, goaltender Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning has had a career year. The Denver native racked up six shutouts over the season, including 3 over his last 10 games.

His goals allowed average at 2.06, is significantly lower than his previous best of 2.23 that he put up in the 2013-14 season. It’s also the very best in the NHL. His .926 save percentage is also the tops in his career and 2nd in the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a badass between the pipes that will keep them in a lot of games should the make a run deep into the playoffs.

Starting for the Red Wings in this game should be young goalie, Petr Mrazek, who went 27-16-6 on the season over 49 starts. It was by far the most starts Mrazek has compiled over a season, besting the 26 starts from last year. He put up a 2.33 goals against average and very respectable .921 save percentage, just behind Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop.

Red Wings Overview
The Detroit Red Wings extended their postseason appearance streak to 25 games this year, but did it while compiling the worst goal differential (-13) of any playoff team on the season. That’s the longest streak of any team in professional sports by the way, but the way they got there has many fans of the team not expecting much, but that also makes them dangerous.

A team playing loose and without expectations can get into the zone pretty quickly.  The opposite reasoning of that fact for Red Wings is that they have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in the last two years and 3 of the last 4 years.

This may be the last season the streak continues; however, as there is a good chance that the Red Wings will have salary cap issues next season. Long-time Russian star, Pavel Datsyuk, has announced he is retiring from the NHL at the end of the season to return home – a move that will count for $7.5 million against the salary cap next year.

In an event that will live on in infamy in our household for some time to come; my wife knew the reason why he was retiring and I did not, to be with his teenage daughter in Russia. I guess hosting hockey kids in Butte, Montana paid off after all for the wife.

Must Read: Betting Tips Ahead Of Playoffs

Final Analysis
I haven’t touched on it yet, but the Lightning are dealing with several injuries going into these playoffs. Decimation is a word that is being tossed around to describe it. That, and a going away party for Datsyuk has me thinking that the intangibles favor the Red Wings in this series. I’m backing the loose team with a slight lean here, and taking the Detroit Red Wings as my Game 1 NHL pick.

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Free NHL Pick: Detroit Red Wings +137
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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