The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Minnesota Wild on Friday night in a game that can be seen on NBCSN. The Lightning have struggled for much of the season with injuries a big part of the problem while the Wild are competing for the best record in the NHL. Minnesota will be listed as a solid home favorite in this contest with the total at 5 over or 5.5 under. The teams have split their last ten meetings overall with Tampa winning 3-2 earlier this season at home.
Don't miss the ice action from Xcel Energy Center at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, February 10, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBCSN.
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The Lightning are beginning a four-game road trip on Friday but they should be well rested as they last played on Tuesday night at home against the Kings. The Lightning have not been that good on the road this season at 10-18 with 12 games going over, 14 going under with 2 pushes.
The Wild have been solid at home going 17-6 in their first 23 home games. They have had one day off since beginning this homestand on Wednesday against Chicago. The concern for Minnesota in this game is a letdown after playing a huge rival in the Blackhawks.
Minnesota is good enough that they may be able to beat Tampa even if they have a letdown. The Wild have been excellent this season under new head coach Bruce Boudreau and they are now one of the top contenders to win the Stanley Cup. They have a top goaltender in Devan Dubnyk and a very balanced lineup.
The Wild are currently listed as the third choice in Stanley Cup futures behind only Washington and Pittsburgh.
Tampa has a good power play as they are 8th in the league at 21.6% but the Lightning still don’t score a ton of goals as they are 17th in the league at 2.7 per contest. Tampa has struggled in penalty killing at just 21st in the league as they are at 80%. The Lightning are giving up 2.9 goals per game which is 23rd in the league.
Minnesota is just 12th in the league on the power play at 20.7% but they are doing great 5-on-5 as they are 3rd in the league in goals scored at 3.3 per game. They are solid in penalty killing at 82.4% which is 12th in the league and they are giving up just 2.3 goals per game which is 3rd in the NHL.
The Lightning have two goaltenders who are splitting the action and they each have similar numbers. Ben Bishop is 12-15 with a 2.79 goals against average but he is rumored to be on the trading block as the team seems set to go with Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal for the future. He is 11-15 with a 2.84 goals against average.
The Wild have a clear number one in Devan Dubynk who is 28-12 with a 1.99 goals against average. Backup Darcy Kuemper is 6-5 with a 3.16 goals against average.
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The teams have split their last ten meetings with seven of the ten going under the total. The Lightning won 3-2 in Tampa in early January. It has been a home team series as Minnesota has won 8 of the last 10 at home with four of the last five going under the total.
Normally I would be all over Minnesota in this spot but I am concerned about a letdown for the Wild after playing Chicago and I also wonder whether the Wild will choose this game to give backup Darcy Kuemper a start in goal. I will avoid a side and just take the game under the total.
NHL Odds: Wild 2, Lightning 1
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