Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a paddle save on a shot by the Dallas Stars during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are strong road favorites as they face the Detroit Red Wings Sunday
- Tampa Bay is 14-8-2 in 2021 on the road, and Detroit is 11-10-5 at home
- Read below for the odds and a preview of the game
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won four of their six meetings with the Detroit Red Wings this season. They have not had an easy time with Detroit of late, however. The puck drop is Sunday, May 2nd at 3pm ET, with Victor Hedman and Tampa Bay a solid favorite again in the Lightning vs Red Wings odds.
Overall, Detroit has won just two out of the six meetings so far this season. On the other hand, Detroit had won two of the previous three meetings heading into the weekend miniseries — scoring 11 goals in the two wins.
Lightning vs Red Wings Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at DraftKings||Total|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-305||-1.5 (-121)||O 5.5 (-110)|
|Detroit Red Wings||+250||+1.5 (+100)||U 5.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 1st
Tampa Bay Rises Up Defensively
The bettors kept hammering against Tampa Bay earlier in the month and it was because of their defense. Over the past half dozen games, that defense has come to the forefront. It culminated in a thorough win on Thursday night where the Lightning held the Dallas Stars to just 20 shots on goal in a 3-0 shutout victory.
20 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy + Point/Palat/Coleman goals = a 3-0 victory! #boltswin #gobolts #bethethunder #tampabaylightning pic.twitter.com/kJ2TlJTEgx
— RBLR Sports (@RBLRSports) April 30, 2021
Tampa Bay wins when their defense and goaltending give them a chance against Detroit. In the four victories, the Lightning have yielded just six goals against. In their two defeats, Tampa Bay has given up a whopping 11 goals.
The Lightning have been ordinary on the road, winning three of their last five games but two have been by shutout — against Columbus and Dallas. Detroit is kind of a team that is similar in the sense that they can go through periods of time where they do not score much.
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Detroit Misses Tyler Bertuzzi
The Red Wings are actually slightly older than the Lightning when it comes to average age (27.8 vs 28). Part of the reason they are struggling again is the fact that they miss players like Tyler Bertuzzi.
The Red Wings ruled out Tyler Bertuzzi for the rest of the season. He hasn’t played since Jan. 30. Frans Nielsen is out for the year, too. pic.twitter.com/CV3pSdboJ6
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 22, 2021
Granted, he has been out for just over three months now but Bertuzzi adds a dynamic, especially to Dylan Larkin’s game. The winger had five goals in nine games for Detroit this year. As a result, Larkin has just nine goals and 23 points in 44 games this season on a career-worst shooting percentage of 6.7%.
Red Wings Struggle with Special Teams
Detroit, without Bertuzzi, has suffered immeasurably on special teams — particularly on the power play. How bad has it been? Let us count the ways.
The Red Wings rank 30th, at a paltry 10.8%. When one combines that with their overall shooting percentage of 8.1 (29th), there is little surprise why they are 30th in goals per game at 2.21.
Detroit Red Wings goal by Dylan Larkin, his 7th goal of the year and his very first on the power play this year and our Detroit Red Wings lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 after 1 Period of play. 😀 👍 #LGRW pic.twitter.com/IiRZLtz1JO
— Dan Clynick (@dclynick66) April 4, 2021
This illustrates the power play to a tee. Dylan Larkin has just one power-play goal the entire season. He had five last year and seven the year before (Detroit was below average then but not like this). For perspective, Tampa Bay ranks 5th in the league at a 24.5% rate even without Nikita Kucherov all season and now Steven Stamkos. Even Tampa Bay’s penalty kill is better at 82.7% (8th). Detroit’s has improved a little but was better when Tyler Bertuzzi was in the lineup. They rank 22nd at 77.7% now.
The Lightning and Red Wings both play their third game in four days on Sunday afternoon. Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jonathan Bernier for the Red Wings.
Tampa Bay has bounced back and won six of their previous eight games while Detroit has just one win in their last seven games. It may be a slightly closer game, but Victor Hedman and the Tampa Bay Lightning on the puckline is the pick.
Pick: Lightning Puckline (-121)
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A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.