Detroit at Tampa Bay Free Pick

NHL Playoffs: Detroit at Tampa Bay Free Pick

Written by on April 12, 2016

On Wednesday night, the Detroit Red Wings will be in Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series. The teams split the season series, 2-2-0, with the Lightning outscoring the Red Wings 11-8, although the Red Wings outshot Tampa Bay, 159-138. Find out the latest NHL betting lines here.

NHL Playoffs: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Free Pick

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 8:00pm ETWhere: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FLTV: NBCSports, CBC, Fox Sports DetroitRadio: Tampa Bay Lightning Radio NetworkLive Stream: NHL-Stream.comNHL Odds: TBA

Why should you bet on the Red Wings?

The Lightning are missing their captain, Steven Stamkos, as well as center Tyler Johnson, which leaves them with a big hole to fill on offense. Despite the fact that the Red Wings have not been as strong this season, they do have a 24-season playoff streak, and they have players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg who all have been with the team in stronger years and will work hard to keep this team in the postseason as long as possible. First-year coach Jeff Blashill has overseen a year that was inconsistent, but they remain one of the top 10 teams in possession in the NHL. Given that the Lightning have some key injuries, the Red Wings have an opening here.

Why should you put your money on Tampa Bay?

Even though Valtteri Filppula is the only member of the Lightning with his name on the Stanley Cup, the whole team gained playoff experience during last year’s lengthy run. This ia  team that has posted seven- and nine-game winning streaks since the start of 2016, which is why they almost were able to roar back and win the Atlantic Division after an awful start. Victor Hedman is one of the key players on defense; his blue line partner, Anton Stralman, is another one of the Lightning players in the infirmary, but Hedman is a shutdown defender in his own right. The Red Wings also lack depth, so they are just an injury or two away from struggling to be competitive.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I like Tampa Bay to overcome the Detroit Red Wing mystique and take care of business in Game 1. I’m predicting a 3-1 Lightning win.