Devils at Lightning NHL Odds & 2018 Playoffs Preview – Game 2

Posted by Juan Carlos on Friday,April 13, 2018 2:17, EDT in

The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t beat the New Jersey Devils in the regular season once, but the Bolts took a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series emphatically. Game 2 is Tuesday night, with the Lightning favored on the NHL odds, before the series shifts to Newark.

Devils at Lightning NHL Odds & 2018 Playoffs Preview – Game 2

When: Saturday, 3 PM ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa
Radio: WFAN 660 AM (New York) / WFLA 970 AM (Tampa Bay)
Opening NHL Playoffs Lines: Lightning -255, Devils +205 (6)

Why Bet on New Jersey?

Want proof that the NHL regular season doesn’t mean much? The Devils were 3-0 vs. the Lightning. But in Game 1 of this series on Thursday, New Jersey was blown off the ice in a 5-0 loss.

Keith Kinkaid had been spectacular since late January when No. 1 Cory Schneider got hurt, but Kinkaid allowed four goals on 31 shots in his first-ever postseason start. He’s expected to start Game 2 as well, but could have a short leash with Schneider now healthy. Kinkaid started the game strong, but had an eight-minute stretch between the first and second period where he allowed three goals to the Lightning.

Devils superstar Taylor Hall scored a goal and picked up an assist. The Devils fell behind 3-0 and that’s when Hall did his thing, getting his team to within one goal midway through the third period. However, Alex Killorn’s goal a couple of minutes later put the game to bed for Tampa. It was Hall’s first post-season appearance in his eighth season in the NHL.

Travis Zajac scored the other goal. Zajac redirected Hall’s pass for his first playoff goal since he scored against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. The 32-year-old center has 11 goals and 27 points in 53 career playoff games.

Will Butcher registered an assist. Butcher was making his playoff debut. He’s coming off a great rookie campaign where he scored five goals and 44 points in 81 contests. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier got into his first playoff game. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for Hischier or the Devils. He had a minus-one rating and didn’t record a shot on goal in 15:32 minutes en route. Hischier made valuable offensive contributions in his rookie season with 20 goals and 52 points in 82 contests.

Perhaps the extra rest was an issue for the Devils. After a bye week against the Philadelphia Flyers in January, the Devils lost 5-3. However, immediately after that game they went on a run.

“I thought Tampa came out real, real hard. We looked a little bit tentative and a little unsure,” Devils’ coach John Hynes said. “But I thought we settled into our game.”

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Bolts looked like the East’s best team for one night. Rookie Yanni Gourde scored a goal and picked up an assist and was the game’s No. 1 star. He was all over the ice causing havoc. Gourde is the second Lightning rookie to score a game-winning playoff goal. Cedric Paquette did it in Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Yanni Gourde was being Yanni Gourde.” said head coach Jon Cooper “He’s not afraid to go anywhere on the ice. He’s like a little waterbug out there.”

Ondrej Palat scored a goal and picked up two assists. Palat got the party going for the Lightning with the opening goal of the series with five minutes left in the first period. He then followed that up by picking up assists on Tampa’s next two goals scored by Tyler Johnson and Gourde. Palat has 15 goals and 32 points in 47 career NHL post-season games. Palat picked a perfect time for his first three-point game of the season, particularly with captain Steven Stamkos (86 points) and Nikita Kucherov (100 points) limited to one empty-net goal and five shots on goal.

Tyler Johnson posted one goal and one assist. Johnson registered both points in the first period.  The 27-year-old has compiled 22 goals and 44 points in 48 career postseason outings. Johnson scored his 22nd playoff goal, third most for the Lightning behind Martin St. Louis (33) and Vincent Lecavalier (24).  Hart Trophy candidate Kucherov scored a goal as well, Tampa Bay’s fifth into an empty net. Kucherov is up to 23 goals and 43 points in 46 career postseason appearances.

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed two goals on 31 shots. Vasilevskiy quietly had a strong game with some big saves on Tampa’s first penalty kill of the night midway through the second period. It’s the Russian goaltenders fifth career playoff victory and he’s 5-5 career in the post-season with a 2.77 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage.

Latest NHL Playoffs Lines Trends

  • New Jersey is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • New Jersey is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Jersey’s last 8 games
  • Tampa Bay is 7-16 ATS in its last 23 games
  • Tampa Bay is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games

Expert NHL Betting Prediction

No reason to get off the Bolts’ bandwagon now.