The NHL is set up with a solid night of action on Tuesday. Six games will be up on the board throughout April 13. One of these games will be between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators. These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
Tampa Bay has earned a record of 28-11-2 throughout this season, which has them in second place of the Central Division. The Lightning are in a tight race with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers for that top spot. Tampa Bay will look to get back in the top spot with a win in this one. The Lightning have won back to back games and four of their last six.
The Predators have put up a record of 23-19-1 to this point in the season, which has them in the fourth spot of the Central Division. Nashville has the Chicago Blackhawks right on their tail and will look to create more distance with a win in this one. The Predators have won twelve of their last fifteen and will look to keep this momentum going forward.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots in the Central as of now and will look for a big win on Tuesday night. The Lightning have dominated Nashville throughout the season series, but the Predators are coming into this one hot. Both teams need a big two points in this one as we get closer and closer to the playoffs.
The Lightning and Predators have met up seven times throughout this season. Tampa Bay hosted the first two games on January 30 and February 1. Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist as the Lightning earned a 4-3 win in the first game. Yanni Gourde scored twice in the second game to help lead Tampa Bay to a 5-2 win at home.
Nashville hosted the third and fourth game of the season series on February 8 and 9. Anthony Cirelli scored twice in the third game. Curtis McElhinney stopped 23 of 24 shots to help give Tampa Bay a 4-1 win. Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist in the fourth game, while Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev each had three assists. Mathieu Joseph added two goals as well as the Lightning won 6-1.
The fifth and sixth game of the season series shifted back to Tampa Bay on March 13 and 15. Blake Coleman and Tyler Johnson both had a goal and an assist in the fifth game as the Lightning won 6-3. Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and three assists, while Mattias Ekholm had a goal and an assist in the sixth game. The Predators were finally able to break through with a 4-1 win on the night.
The seventh and most recent game of the season series shifted to Nashville on April 10. Pekka Rinne had 31 saves on 33 shots for the Predators, but it was not enough. Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist on the night. Erik Cernak and Ross Colton both had goal as well. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with a 36 save shutout on the night as Tampa Bay won 3-0.
Tampa Bay has been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. The Lightning have capitalized on 33 of their 133 power play chances, which is a 24.8 percent power play. Tampa Bay has given up 24 power play goals on 136 penalties against, which is an 82.4 percent kill rate. The Lightning will look to keep their success going in this one.
The Predators have been solid on the power play so far this season. Nashville has scored on 25 of their 123 power play opportunities, which is a 20.3 percent success rate. The Predators have struggled on the penalty kill though. Nashville has killed off 102 of their opponents 136 power play attempts, which is a 75 percent penalty kill.
The Lightning have the edge on special teams in this one with a better power play and penalty kill. Tampa Bay will look to draw a lot of penalties against this Predators team to try and gain the edge. Neither team has done a great job staying out of the box and will look to clean up their play in this one. If either team gets going on the power play in this one, it could be enough for a win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start in the net for the Lightning in this one. Vasilevskiy has started in 32 games this season, going 25-6-1 throughout those matchups. He has put up a save percentage of .932 and a 2.00 GAA. Vasilevskiy earned a 36 shot shutout in his last outing against the Predators and will look to repeat that success in this one.
I expect Juuse Saros to get the nod between the pipes for Nashville on Tuesday night. Saros has earned a record of 14-7 through his starts this season. He has posted a .929 save percentage and a GAA of 2.17 throughout his games played. Saros’s last start was against the Dallas Stars, where he stopped 24 of 26 shots to help get the win in the shootout.
These two goalies have been strong throughout this season, which should lead to a great game on Tuesday night. Saros has been really hot as of late and Vasilevskiy has continued his tear in net. Both goalies will look to come out strong in this one as they try to earn a big win. If either team can put pressure on early, it could be enough to catch one of these goalies on an off night.
The Predators have struggled to get anything going against Tampa Bay throughout this season. The Lightning have been strong so far this season and will look to finish out their season series against Nashville with a win. I think the Predators will come out strong at home in this one though. If Nashville can put pressure on Tampa Bay early, I think they will earn a much needed win in this one.
BetOnline has the Lightning listed as a -169 against the money line in this one. This implies that Tampa Bay will win this game around 62.8 percent of the time. The Lightning deserve this line with how they have performed this season. Nashville is already 0-3 at home against Tampa Bay, but I think they can earn this one. As big home underdogs, I think the Predators are a great pick on Tuesday night.