A premier Eastern Conference showdown is scheduled for Tuesday evening as the Tampa Bay Lightning face off with the Boston Bruins in Bean Town on Tuesday. Join us for our NHL odds series where our Lightning-Bruins prediction and pick will be revealed.

After somewhat of a sluggish start to the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have rebounded nicely with wins in six of their previous seven games played. Most recently, the three-time defending champs came away with a high-scoring 6-5 victory in overtime over the Buffalo Sabres.

When it comes to the Boston Bruins, no other team in hockey has been as lethal this season. Thus far, the Bruins have compiled an impressive 18-3 record which has included a perfect 12-0 mark at home. Squaring off with the Lightning just barely a week ago, Boston will look for a repeat effort in what turned out to be a 5-3 victory in Tampa.

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

NHL Odds: Lightning-Bruins Odds

Tampa Bay Lightning: +1.5 (-164)

Boston Bruins: -1.5 (+134)

Over: 6.5 (+104)

Under: 6.5 (-128)

Why The Lightning Could Cover The Spread

If the Lightning are going to play spoiler and find a way to cover the spread against a Bruins squad that has yet to make a plethora of mistakes, there’s no question that Tampa Bay’s margin for error will indeed need to be slim. Fortunately, it appears that the Lightning have turned the corner and are finally starting to gain some winning momentum that has led them to where they are at now.

For starters, this matchup starts with their talented and savvy veteran center Steven Stamkos, who coming into this one is only two points away from 1,00o total in his illustrious career. Not only is Stamkos the Lightning’s leading goal-getter through the club’s first 21 games, but the 32-year-old’s overall ability to be a leader within the top line out on the ice is something of value that cannot be replaced.

Even more importantly, can the Lightning fluster the Bruins enough to keep them off the scoreboard when so many other teams have failed to do so? As it stands, Tampa Bay is only giving up 3.19 goals per game and will need to give their best effort defensively to stop a ferocious Boston attack that is coming off scoring at least five goals in their last four games. Simply put, goalie Andrei Vasilevsky will have to possibly stand on his head to keep the Lightning within striking distance and to give them a chance to cover.

Why The Bruins Could Cover The Spread

At first glance, the Bruins’ statistics from both sides of the ice are almost mind-blowing. Not to mention, Boston has been getting the job done by playing against elite competition and not failing in doing so. In fact, the team with the second-most points in the entire league will be in the midst of a seven-game stretch in which they will be squaring off with the Lightning, Avalanche, Panthers, and even the Golden Knights in intriguing matchups that they can look forward to on their schedule to put their stellar play to the test.

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When it comes to tonight’s showdown with their Eastern Conference counterparts, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will attempt to attack Tampa Bay with their high-flying play style that has contributed to 4.00 goals per game. Offensively, there’s not much that Boston cannot accomplish, and no other Bruins skater will be as important for the team as right-winger David Pasternak. As it stands, Pasternak leads the team in goals, assists, and total points and has been an imposing figure within an organization that continues to have high expectations for this season.

However, the biggest X-Factor will come in the form of receiving a clean bill of health from both of their own net-minders. On paper, Boston’s goaltending will be getting a much-needed boost with the return of Linus Ullmark, who had to be removed from action on Friday with an upper-body injury. Fast forward nearly 96 hours later, and it appears that Ullmark will be scheduled to be in net which should only increase the chances of a Bruins spread-covering win. Not to mention, Boston has been nearly flawless with a 16-5 record against the spread in the teams’ first 21 games played.

Final Lightning-Bruins Prediction & Pick

Without a doubt, this matchup between two Eastern Conference contenders will be highly anticipated, but when the dust clears, the Boston Bruins will once again prove that they are one of the top teams to beat in the NHL.

Final Lightning-Bruins Prediction & Pick: Bruins -1.5 (+134)