Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings Expert NHL Betting Preview

Posted by Aaron . on April 11, 2016 in

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings will square off in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, with the series opener Wednesday night in Florida. This best-of-seven series pits the second-place team (Tampa) and the third-place team (Detroit) from the Atlantic Division.

We have prepared a game analysis and full NHL betting preview on this game, so let’s get in the action and review the two teams as they get ready for the first game of this interesting postseason match.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit  Red Wings Expert NHL Betting Preview

Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 13, 5:00 PM
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Live Stream: NHL Stream
Money Line: Tampa Bay -135

Last season, the two teams met in the first round, and the Red Wings built series of leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but they lost Game 7, as Tampa Bay went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Wings barely scraped their way into the playoffs this year and may be witnessing Pavel Datsyuk’s final NHL campaign. The Lightning will not count with his team captain Steven Stamkos.

Why should you bet on Tampa Bay to win?


Given the way the Lightning had played in January and February, it was pretty easy to see them skating all the way to the conference finals, and maybe to the championship round if they could get by the Capitals. However, the loss of Stamkos is huge. Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat stand ready to have huge series while the rest of the team heals, but the fact remains that the Lightning wiwill be riding their bench if they are going to advance in this playoff. The good news is that Detroit has not scored well this season, averaging only 2.6 goals per night. The Lightning do have a solid defense, ranking fifth in the league and permitting only 2.4 goals per game, and their penalty kill is almost like a Ziploc bag around the other team’s skaters. The Lightning will have to emphasize defense and rely on Ben Bishop between the pipes.


Why should you put your money on the Red Wings to win?


The only reason to even think about choosing the Red Wings is the fact that Stamkos, Anton Stralman (leg) and Tyler Johnson (concussion)  and some of the other key players for Tampa Bay are on the shelf. However, as things stand now, the Red Wings could use Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Luke Glendening, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan as forwards in their scoring lines to harass the Lightning into a series loss. The more these teams buzz around the Lightning goal, the harder Tampa Bay will find it to mount an offensive attack of their own. Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk will be expected to produce, and produce big.


Expert Pick and Final Series Prediction


This is the time of year when goalies who stand on their heads enter the realm of Stanley Cup legend. There are some outstanding names on this list: Grant Fuhr, Ed Belfour, Martin Brodeur, Mike Richter, Jean-Sebastiane Gigeur. I like Ben Bishop to join that list of names this year. I don’t think the Lightning will get out of the East, but I do think that they will come together around Bishop and finish off a Detroit team that simply does not have the manpower for an extended run in these playoffs. Bishop posted a big shutout against Detroit in that crucial win. I’m predicting Tampa Bay in seven.