Bet Home Value Favorite Capitals as the NHL Pick Over Lightning

Bruce Webster

Friday, December 18, 2015 1:20 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 1:20 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Lightning have won five of their last seven games, while the Washington Capitals are off a 2-1 home win over Ottawa. Who will be our NHL pick tonight?

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NHL Pick: Capitals -153
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Lightning Rally to Beat Maple Leafs
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered their game vs Toronto on Tuesday night playing on no rest and with his revenge game on deck and they play sluggishly for most of the game, but a goal from Anton Stralman with just 36 seconds left in the second period got the rally started. The Lightning then got goals from Michael Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault to take a 4-3 lead in the third period, before Toronto tied it to send the game to OT, where Vladislav Namestnikov won the game two minutes in. That was a good win vs a team that had a week off.

Grabbing the win in the game was Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is now 3-4 with a 2.94 GAA on the year. Getting the start in this one should be Ben Bishop, who has been hot of late as he has gone 7-2 in his last nine starts and has allowed a total of nine goals over that stretch. For the year now he is 13-11 with a 1.92 GAA overall, while at home he is 7-6 with a 1.91 GAA, but he also is just 1-6 with a 3.70 GAA in his career vs Washington. The Lightning check in at 23rd in the league in scoring, putting up just 2.4 gpg and 26th in power play conversions (16.5%). On defense they are 3rd in goals allowed at 2.2 gpg, but jus 23rd in penalty kill (78.1%).

 

Can Anyone Stop Braden Holtby
Kind of running out of things to say about this guy, but he in on fire and it continued on Wednesday night vs an Ottawa team that has one of the best offenses in the league, beating the by a 2-1 score. Braden Holtby has now won 12 of his last 13 starts and hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his last eight starts. His 20 wins overall leads the lead and so does his 1.83 GAA. He should get the start in this game as well and is 12-2 with a 1.78 GAA at home, while vs the Lightning he is 7-3 with a 2.89 GAA in his career. Can anyone slow this guy down right now? It’s hardly unlikely that it will be the offensively challenged Lightning that does it.

Defensively this team now ranks first in goals allowed, giving up just 2.1 gpg on the year, while also checking in at 8th in penalty kill (83.3%). The Caps are anything but an offensively challenged team as they come in ranked 5th in scoring, putting up 3.0 gpg on the year, while also ranking 2nd in power play conversions, converting on 22.9% of their chances. Scoring for the Caps in the win over te Sens was Michael Latta, who notched his 2nd of the year and had an assist as well and John Carlson, who put up his 6th of the year. Washington has now taken over the lead in the East in points with 46, which is three better than Montreal’s 43.   

 

Trends
Tampa Bay is:

16-41 in their last 57 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600

5-13 in their last 18 vs. a team with a winning record

Washington is:

41-17 in their last 58 games playing on one day’s rest

22-4 in their last 26 vs. the Atlantic

 

Betting Analysis
Really hard to go against the Caps and Holtby right now as they are hot. The Lightning have struggled on offense all year and just won’t be able to score nearly enough to win this game. The home team is 15-5 the last 20 in the series and the Caps have won the last four meetings between the team. I look for Washington to continue rolling and pick up their 2nd win in less than a week vs the Lightning. Against the NHL odds, take the Capitals as your NHL pick.

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