Power Plays To Increase Scoring In Lightning vs Red Wings

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Both Tampa Bay and Detroit have been stuck in a rut in regards to power play scoring. Our handicapper believes that the scoring will finally catch up with the opportunities on NHL Odds Tuesday night.

Now that’s more like playoff hockey for the Detroit Red Wings, as they took game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals from the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-0. It was a needed win for the Red Wings as they brought the series back from the brink, now trailing Tampa Bay 2-1. The score in game 3 cashed out Red Wings bettors at -120 on the moneyline and was well under the consensus total of 5. It also guaranteed a game 5 back in Tampa Bay. For game 4, the listed NHL odds are very similar, with the Red Wings favored at home by -121 on the moneyline at Pinnacle, and the O/U total also listed at 5. The spread on the total hints at a lean to the over at -120 at BookMaker.

Game 3 was a complete departure from the previous two games in this series for Detroit. Petr Mrazek indeed replaced Jimmy Howard in the crease for the Red Wings, but he had much more help on defense this time, as Detroit only allowed 16 shots on goal. The Red Wings on the other hand, peppered Ben Bishop with 30 shots. Bishop, too his credit, saved 28 of those shots for a .933 save percentage, but the Lightning could never reach the back of the net to offset those two goals.

I appeared the game was called extremely in favor of the Detroit Red Wings, with the majority of penalty minutes served by the Lightning and a 40 minute to 60-minute time advantage. However, when you discard the melee at the end of the game, the penalty minutes become more clear with an 18-10 Detroit advantage. Tampa Bay fans are whining about the discrepancy, of course.

Not that is mattered as neither team could take advantage of the power play. Tampa Bay is now 1 for 14 in power play chances and the Red Wings are 1 and 17 in their man-advantage chances in this series so far. Eventually some shots should start making their way to the back of the net, as each team has allowed about double the current rate represented thus far.

After racking up points in the first two games of the series, the Tampa Bay Lighting were completely shut out in this one, but the first line with Tyler Johnson and Alex Killhorn didn’t give up any points as well.

It has been stated that Pter Mrazek will be in goal for Detroit for the rest of the series after this successful switch by head coach, Jeff Blashill. Mrazek has been 15-12 ATS at home this season while compiling a .921 save percentage. His games have also trended under at home by a 9-13 margin. On the year, Mrazek is 27-16-6 in his 49 starts with a 2.33 goals against average.

At the beginning of this series, I put a lot of credence into the fact that Detroit had no expectations on them, as their making the playoffs for the 25th game in a row was a successful season in and of itself. I thought they would play loose, but what we got was apathy. Game 3 was the loose team that I thought we were going to get, but I still can’t back them again with the speed of Tampa.

I’m expecting even more penalty minutes in game 4 of this series, as the referees try to keep a lid on things after the fighting at the end of game 3. Add to that, some serious regression to average for power plays and penalty kills, and we should have more scoring chances being converted. I’m taking Over 5 goals in game 4 as one of my Tuesday NHL Picks.

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Free NHL Pick:  Lightning Over 5 +100
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage

2016 NHL: 8-7-0, -.70 Units

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