The Red Wings need a win to avoid going down two games in the first round series. That could be difficult to come by in Tampa Bay, where Detroit has lost nine of its last 11 games.
You can bet on Stanley Cup playoff odds everyday at Bookmaker.eu.
Detroit played an excellent road playoff game on Wednesday in Game 1 of the series and nearly stole a victory from the favored Lightning. Now they’ll have to pull out a rare victory at Tampa Bay to avoid going into an 0-2 hole in the first-round matchup. The Red Wings have now lost nine of their last 11 games at Amalie Arena, but both wins came in last year’s first-round matchup with the Bolts, so don’t expect Detroit to go quietly.
The Wings have to counter Tampa Bay’s speed with a trapping style and the method bottled up the Bolts’ speedy forwards in Game 1. The team’s pushed on the total and for Detroit to get a win they need to be successful playing this way because they lack the firepower to compete in a shootout.
Lightning goalie Ben Bishop picked up where he left off from last season’s playoff series with the Red Wings in Game 1, stopping 34 Detroit shots while backstopping Tampa Bay to a 3-2 win and a series lead. He surrendered a pair of goals less than two minutes apart early in the second quarter, but was stellar the rest of the way, allowing the Bolts to overcome the deficit.
The Wings were able to net a pair of goals by getting bodies in front of Bishop to screen him and redirect shots. It’s a style the Bolts’ netminder will see plenty during the series because of his size he covers too much of the net.
Jimmy Howard was strong in net for the Wings and was let down by shoddy coverage in front of him. The tying and winning goals were scored with Tampa Bay players cruising around in front of the goal to pick up scraps.
Howard stopped 31 shots and, if nothing else, should get a boost of confidence from his performance despite the loss. Better coverage by his defensemen in front of the net will limit Tampa Bay’s opportunities.
The Lightning needed someone to pick up the scoring slack with leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos out of the lineup. Nikita Kucherov was up for the challenge Wednesday in Game 1. Kucherov scored two goals and assisted on the game-winner in Tampa’s 3-2 victory.
He tallied 10 goals and 22 points in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs as the Bolts advanced to the Final. He finished third in the league in playoff scoring. During the regular season he netted 30 goals and was the team’s leading point producer with 66. Stamkos had a team-high 36 goals and no other Lightning player had more than 16.
Only four points separated the teams in the Atlantic Division standings so the difference between the clubs is minimal. Tampa Bay got a huge boost in the opener with the return of defenseman Victor Hedman and forward Ryan Callahan to the lineup. Hedman had a goal disallowed on a video review while playing 30 minutes. He anchors the D with Anton Stralman out and provides some scoring punch from the blueline.
Still, the Red Wings were a few defensive miscues away from sneaking out with a win and now they face the pressure of going down two games in the series. In another tight game, Tampa’s speed and edge between the pipes should be enough for the Bolts to take a 2-0 series lead to Detroit and it wouldn’t be surprising to see an overtime game.
NHL Odds: Tampa Bay 2, Detroit 1
Load your betting bankroll from your smartphone or tablet with BookMaker's new cashier feature! Depositing and withdrawing funds from your account has never been easier.
BookMaker's live betting platform means you always have access to odds and lines to every sporting event. Click here, and start wagering today! Game 2 of the first round series between the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning will start at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 15, 2016 at Amalie Arena. The game will be televised live on CNBC.