Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks Preview
Where: Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
When: Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 10:00 PM ET
Line: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks – view all NHL lines
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Betting on the Tampa Bay Lightning (21-20-4, 44 pts)
Tampa Bay will be fresh off a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars, as goalie Ben Bishop was able to save 31 of the 32 shots he faced (96.9 save percentage). It’s a much-needed win for the team, who only had their second victory in the last seven games.
Among the Lightning’s problems in their underwhelming year is defense. They are only 25th overall in goals against (133) and 24th in save percentage (90.3). Bishop has a respectable save percentage of 90.8 percent, but in nine of his 23 games this season, he went below 90.
As for their offense, although two of their guys – Nikita Kucherov (40) and Victor Hedman (38) – are both in the top point-getters in the league, with Kucherov also inside the top 20 of goal scores (17), they are just hovering around the league average – 125 goals, 14th in the NHL.
However, the Lightning have won four straight games against the Ducks, and in last year’s second straight season-series sweep, the combined score was 7-1.
Betting on the Anaheim Ducks (24-13-9, 57 pts)
For the fourth time this season, the Ducks followed up a three-game winning streak with a loss, as the St. Louis Blues edged them out in OT this past Saturday, 2-1. Despite the defeat, though, they are still first in the Pacific Division.
Offensively, Anaheim is similarly productive with Tuesday’s visitors. At 123 goals so far this season, they are only two short of tying Tampa Bay’s total scores.
On defense, goalie John Gibson has been producing good numbers. He’s 17-10-8 this season, with a 92-percent save percentage (2.33 GAA). His stats over the last seven games are even better: 5-1-1, 95.6 save percentage (1.42 GAA). Through his play, the Ducks are ranking 10th overall in goals against.
As they try to break their four-game losing streak to the Lightning, head coach Jon Cooper may eye Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell to provide the goods. The two Centres both own 18 goals this season, which are good for top 12 in the NHL – Kesler also paces the team in points, with 37.
Anaheim wins, 3-1.
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