The Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to New Jersey tonight to face the new jersey devils in a bout pitting two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference against each other. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Lightning-Devils prediction and pick.

The Lightning and Devils face off for the second time in three days in New Jersey. Tampa Bay has been struggling as of late. They did just beat New Jersey in New Jersey on Tuesday, but they are just 3-7 in their last ten outings, including a 6-0 loss and a 7-3 loss in there. The Devils struggled against Tampa last time out, but are winners of seven of their last ten games, and find themselves only two points back of the Hurricanes for the top spot in the Metropolitan division now.

Here are the Lightning-Devils NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Odds: Lightning-Devils Odds

Tampa Bay Lightning: +1.5 (-210)

New Jersey Devils: -1.5 (+172)

Over: 6.5 (-108)

Under: 6.5 (-112)

How To Watch Lightning vs. Devils


Stream: NHLPP / ESPN+

Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT

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Why The Lightning Could Cover The Spread

The Lightning showed exactly how to cover the spread on Tuesday. The formula was a winning one, and a win they desperately needed. First, all the big names got involved. Brandon Hagel has his 31st and 32nd assists on the year. That places him fifth on the team, and his involvement has been a key to winning recently. Sergachev and Point also came away with assists in the game, and they are 2nd and 4th on the team respectively in assists. 

Kucherov, Hagel, and Killorn all ended up with goals, and are three of the four guys on the roster that have over 20 goals on the season. Tampa Bay sits sixth in the league in scoring currently, and those three are a major part of it. Their first goal of the game was shorthanded as well. Not only is that a huge momentum boost for the squad, but also something they have not done well this year. That was their fifth shorthanded tally of the year, which ties them 17th with nine other teams. 

On the defensive end, Tampa Bay shut out Jack Hughes, who managed to get an assist, but only got two shots on goal, well below his season average. Vasilevskiy played to form, saving 95.7% of the shots he faced on the night. They also shut down both power play opportunities for New Jersey, while staying mostly out of the box. The only thing that could have gone better for the Lightning was converting on their own power play, as they went zero for two on the night. 

Why The Devils Could Cover The Spread

The Devils showed exactly what they should not do against the Lightning. First, they average 3.49 goals per outing this year, which is fourth in the NHL. They only scored one against Tampa Bay. Part of that was shots on goal. They average 34.3 shots on goal per game but only got off 23 against Tampa last time out. Part of that was Jack Hughes, who has averaged 4.48 shots on goal in his last twenty-five games, with a median of 4.0 shots on goal. Hughes was shut down last time out, with only two shots on goal, and no shots that missed or were blocked. His plus/minus was negative two, and in the seven games that Hughes has been minus two or worse this year, New Jersey has lost every single one of them.

New Jersey also gave up a few more shots on goal than normal. This year they are fourth in the league in shots allowed, and give up 28.2 shots per game. They have up 30 in their last time out, but what really hurt them was goalie play. Vanecek only had a save percentage of .867, well below his .908 on the year. Had he been average, New Jersey would have still lost, but that would have been another goal closer to getting the win.

New Jersey also failed on the power play. While they only had two chances, they failed to convert both of them. Their win percentage on the year skyrockets when they score on the power play, and that must be a focus tonight, especially considering they gave up a goal while on the power play on Tuesday.

Final Lightning-Devils Prediction & Pick

In the last outing, everything went right for Tampa and everything went wrong for New Jersey. This was primarily in the second period, where Tampa scored three times and led in shots on goal. This may have been just a blip in the radar for both teams. While Tampa Bay showed what they can do on a night-in and night-out basis, New Jersey normally does not play that poorly. Regardless, Tampa will probably not score another shorthanded goal, and scoring may be hard to come by tonight. Tampa Bay has had their games go under 6.5 in four of the last six, while New Jersey has seen that in each of their last four. Unless Jack Hughes makes a major showing tonight, that should continue. The Lightning Devils’ pick tonight will see that trend continue

Final Lightning-Devils Prediction & Pick: Under 6.5 (-112)