SPORTS CHAT PLACE
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Arizona Coyotes meet in NHL action from the Gila River Arena on Friday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning come into this one on the heels of a tough first half of their back-to-back against Colorado. Heading into Thursday’s game against Colorado, Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning in scoring with 52 points including a team-high 20 goals along with 32 assists while Victor Hedman also has 47 points with a team-high 37 assists as well this season. Alex Killorn has 41 points with 15 goals and 26 assists for the Bolts this season. Andrei Vaslievskiy has seen the bulk of the workload between the pipes for Tampa Bay this season, posting a record of 25-7-4 with a 2.23 GAA and a .922 save percentage on the year.
The Arizona Coyotes will look to build on their 5-2 win over Seattle last time out. Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes with 39 points, logging a team-high 17 goals and 22 assists while Shayne Gostisbehere has 20 assists as part of his 28 points this season. Phil Kessel also has 31 points with a team-high 25 assists while Lawson Crouse has 12 goals and Travis Boyd has 10 goals on the year. Karel Vejmelka’s seen the majority of the action in goal for Arizona, going 7-19-1 with a 3.43 GAA and a .902 save percentage while Scott Wedgewood is 5-9-2 with a 3.23 GAA and an .903 save percentage so far this season.
Tampa Bay is 4-1 in their last 5 games played on no rest and 4-1 in their last 5 road games while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 games as a road favorite. Arizona is 4-24 in their last 28 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 6-22 in their last 28 home games while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games against the Atlantic division.
I get the case to be made either way here, but I’m leaning towards the Lightning on the puck line. The plus money with Arizona is tempting and we’ve seen the Coyotes surprise teams like Colorado with heavy amounts of plus money on the table. However, the Lightning are still the better team and the likelihood that they beat up on Arizona is a lot more likely than the Coyotes pulling one off here. Give me Tampa Bay -1.5 here.