NHL Picks: Lightning Pressured to Level Up Against Red Wings | Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, April 18, 2015 12:47 PM GMT

Our resident NHL consultant breaks down Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between Detroit and Tampa Bay. Can the Red Wings take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series with another road win? Will Tampa Bay come out with a vengeance after a rare home loss? Read this betting preview article to get all the answers.

Saturday Afternoon Game 2 in Red Wings/Lightning Series
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to even their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Saturday afternoon versus the Detroit Red Wings. According to the NHL betting odds at Heritage, Tampa Bay is a -164 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. The puck-line at Heritage has Tampa Bay -1.5 (+175) and Detroit +1.5 (-190).

 

Stealing one on the Road
The Detroit Red Wings literally stole a game on Thursday in their 3-2 win at Tampa Bay. The Red Wings were able to pull out that win despite being dominated territorially. They were bailed out by an outstanding goaltending performance from Peter Mrazek who stopped 44 of 46 Tampa Bay shots on goal. Detroit was also very opportunistic, scoring three times on only fourteen shots on net against Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop. It was the first time in their last five visits to Tampa that Detroit skated away with a win. As a matter of fact, prior to the opening game of this series, Detroit hadn’t won at Tampa since defeating the Lightning 6-2 on 2/17/2011.

 

Lightning Strikes after a Defeat
The Tampa Lightning has been very good this season in terms of rebounding from a loss. They’ve gone 22-10 against the money line after suffering a defeat in their previous game. Tampa Bay was the best team in the NHL on home ice during the regular season. Despite the loss on Thursday, they still maintain an outstanding 32-10 record at home.

Click here to view our Lightning vs. Red Wings series price predictions

A look at the Total
Detroit has seen just one of their last eight games go over the total. The Red Wings have averaged just 2.3 goals per game in those last eight contests. Since March 20th they’ve faced Tampa Bay three times, and each of those games has stayed under the number.

The high scoring Tampa Bay Lightning has seen just one of their previous six games go over the total. However, buyer beware, because they average 3.4 goals per game at home this season, and don’t figure to be stymied two games in a row considering the constant offensive pressure they applied in Game 1.

 

Final Analysis
Tampa Bay has gone a terrific 21-10 versus Atlantic Division opponents this season, and Detroit has gone a dismal 11-20 in that same role. The Lightning will be in an urgent mode on Saturday afternoon in order to avoid going down 2-0 in the series before heading to Detroit for Games 3 and 4. The Red Wings can’t help but be a bit complacent after capturing an unexpected win in the series opener. I’m calling for a decisive win by the home team for one of my NHL picks on Saturday.

NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+175) on the puck-line over Detroit at Heritage.