Penguins vs. Lightning NHL Pick – March 3, 2022

Another tough night at the office last night.

I loved the value with Nashville on the 3-way moneyline to beat the lowly Seattle Kraken, and with a 2-0 second-period lead, we were sitting fairly pretty. At that point, a three-goal rally in about a three-minute span from the Kraken saw them take the lead, and while the Preds tied it before the second period ended, an early short-handed goal in the third stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 Kraken victory.

That’s how it goes sometimes, and we’ll take our lumps and stick to the research with a Penguins vs. Lightning NHL Pick from Tampa Bay!

Penguins vs. Lightning Betting Odds

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Teams Moneyline Puck Line Total
Penguins +156 +1.5 (-155) Over 6 (-105)
Lightning -173 -1.5 (+135) Under 6 (-105)

Offense and Defense

Penguins

The Penguins have been one of the better teams in the NHL on both sides of the biscuit this season.

Their offense hasn’t scored with the best of em’ but they’re just barely outside the top 10 in overall offense at 11th with 3.20 goals per game on the campaign. That number actually trends up ever so slightly to 3.26 goals per game on the road which is good for a share of ninth alongside the rival Washington Capitals.

The underlying data is also quite strong. The Pens sit 11th in terms of high-danger chances for/60 and seventh in expected goals for/60 at 5v5 while their 2.52 goals for/60 at 5v5 sits just below their 2.62 expected mark, as per Natural Stat Trick.

After scoring just eight times over their last four, the club will need a better effort at the offensive end of the ice in a tough matchup tonight.

As for the back end, the Pens have been about as solid as it gets, especially on the road.

For the season, they sit fourth with 2.60 goals against per game on the season, but actually lead the NHL with just 2.30 goals against per game away from home. Like the offense, the club’s defensive peripherals agree with the bottom-line result as they Pens sit eighth in high-danger chances against/60 and fifth in expected goals against/60 at 5v5. Their 2.19 goals against/60 at 5v5 is more or less in line with their 2.27 expected mark.

After taking a 6-1 thumping at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, the Pens are back in shutdown mode after allowing just two goals over their last two games with a shutout mixed in.

Lightning

The Pens certainly aren’t the only club in this matchup producing on both sides of puck.

Overall, the Bolts enter this one tied for seventh with 3.46 goals per game, alongside the Calgary Flames. Their production dips a little bit at home, but they still sit in a share of 11th with 3.23 goals per game on home ice, interestingly alongside the Detroit Red Wings.

The underlying metrics are somewhat interesting. While they sit fourth in high-danger chances for/60, the Bolts slip to 13th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5. Their 2.84 goals/60 at 5v5 is notably above their 2.50 expected mark, but this deep into this season it’s difficult to know if that gap will narrow moving forward.

The club’s offense is certainly clicking at the moment as they’ve averaged 4.60 goals per game over their last five.

Defensively, the club is significantly better on home ice.

They fall into the middle of the pack on the road, but the Bolts sit fifth with just 2.38 goals against per game on home ice. Unsurprisingly, the metrics agree with the strong work. Tampa sits fifth in high-danger chances against/60 on the season, but also second in the league in terms of expected goals against/60 at 5v5 with the Boston Bruins the only team superior in that department. Tampa’s 2.14 goals against/60 at 5v5 is nearly identical to their 2.16 expected mark.

In winning each of their last five contests, Tampa has yielded 2.60 goals per game, but also just two goals against in each of their last two contests.

Goaltending Notes

Penguins

To no one’s surprise, the Penguins will give Tristan Jarry the starting nod in this one as we should have a heck of a goaltending matchup on our hands.

It’s been a nice bounce-back season for Jarry who turned in an unspectacular 2.75 GAA and .909 Sv% last season. This time around, he’s posted a far superior 2.33 GAA and .921 Sv% across 43 appearances (41 starts) while his 14.90 goals saved above average (GSAA), sits fifth among 71 qualified netminders, as per Hockey Reference.

Furthermore, the 26-year-old puck-stopper has superior splits on the road. He still owns a rather solid 2.53 GAA and .916 Sv% across 22 home outings, but has turned in a superior 2.12 GAA and .926 Sv% across 21 road outings, going 14-5-2 away from home on the season.

After allowing 13 goals during a rough three-start stretch, Jarry posted a 27-save shutout over the Rangers his last time out.

Lightning

He’s not confirmed as of yet, but it’s extremely likely the starting nod goes to two-time defending Cup champion Andrei Vasilevskiy this evening.

It’s been another stellar season for the decorated netminder as he’ll carry a 2.27 GAA and .921 Sv% into action across 41 appearances on the campaign, all of which are starts. He’s right there with his counterpart tonight in terms of GSAA as Vasilevskiy’s mark sits at 14.89 — one tick below Jarry — and sixth of those 71 qualified netminders.

Unlike Jarry, Vasilevskiy’s splits are tradition in the sense he’s been better at home than on the road. On the road, he’s posted a 2.70 GAA and .913 Sv% in 18 starts, but has been stellar to the tune of a 1.94 GAA and .929 sv% across 24 home outings, going 16-4-3 in the process.

He’s turned aside 51 of 55 shots over his last two games, good for a cool .927 Sv% in that time.

Special Teams

Penguins

Special teams have been a significant contributor to the excellent season the Penguins have enjoyed thus far.

On the power play, they sit 13th overall with a healthy 22% clip. However, it’s worth noting they slip all the way to 23rd with only a 16.4% mark on the road as they’ve been far better on home ice in that department.

The Pens have gone four straight games with a power-play goal, going 4 for 14 (28.6%) in that time, but are just 1 for 14 (7.1%) over their last f0ur on the road.

The club’s penalty killing has been superb, however, and has traveled extremely well.

Overall, the Pens check in at third with an 85.8% efficiency on the PK, but are the NHL’s top-ranked road penalty kill at 87.7%. Clearly, the PK has been a major key to their league-best overall defense.

That kill has scuffled some of late, however. They’re a clean 3 for 3 over their last two, but still just 8 for 12 (66.7%) over their last five.

Lightning

As good as this Lightning offense has been, their power play has underwhelmed given the talent level involved on that top unit.

For the season, the Bolts sit 17th with a 20.3% mark, a figure that actually falls to 17.2% on home ice, good for 23rd league wide. That being said, their man advantage is hot at the moment in going 4 for 12 (33.3%) over their last three after an 0 for 7 stretch across their previous three.

The club’s penalty kill has been good on home ice this season, but scuffled some of late.

Overall, the team sits 16th at an even 80% for the season, but move up to a share of sixth spot with an 85.1% clip at Amalie Arena. They’re just 8 for 12 themselves over their last four after a stretch in which they killed 7 of 8 penalties.

Betting Trends

Penguins

  • Penguins are 17-5 in their last 22 road games
  • Penguins are 9-4 in their last 13 vs. a team with a winning record
  • Under is 4-0 in the Penguins’ last four road games
  • Under is 5-1 in the Penguins’ last six games following a win

Lightning

  • Lightning are 48-18 in their last 66 games as a home favorite
  • Lightning are 20-8 in their last 28 games following a win
  • Over is 4-1 in the Lightning last five overall
  • Over is 5-1 in the Lightning last six vs. the Eastern Conference

Head to Head

  • Lightning are 5-1 in the last six meetings
  • Lighting are 5-1 in the last six meetings in Tampa Bay
  • Home team is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings
  • Over is 33-13-5 in the last 51 meetings

Penguins vs. Lightning NHL Pick

As good and hot as these Lightning are, I like the value on the Penguins here as significant road underdogs.

Aside from the dip in power-play production, Pittsburgh’s home/road splits lean towards the road for the most part and that’s the case with Jarry as well. There’s a reason why the club is 18-6-3 on the road this season.

Now, Tampa is also 18-4-4 at home and have a great goaltender themselves, obviously. They play extremely well on both sides of the puck, kill penalties very well at home and have an offense that’s not only as dangerous as it gets but is also hot entering this one. This doesn’t have much to do with any slight on the Lightning, but at these odds the Pens prevent nice value given what they have done this season, especially on the road.

I expect a tight yet entertaining hockey game, but with the Penguins sitting as heavier underdogs than I had anticipated, I’ll go ahead and grab them as road dogs in this one tonight.

The Bet
PENGUINS
+156
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.

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