Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy uses his arm pad to deflect a shot from the Dallas Stars as Anthony Cirelli (71) and Jan Rutta (44) help against pressure from Stars right wing Denis Guriano, right, in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
- On Thursday, April 29th, 2021 the Tampa Bay Lightning (33-14-2) host the Dallas Stars (21-16-12)
- The Lightning have clinched a playoff spot but are still fighting for home-ice advantage in the playoffs
- Here are the odds, team previews, and the best value bet available
Are you ready for a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final that includes major playoff implications? Tampa Bay is heavily favored in the Stars vs Lightning odds on Thursday, April 29th. Both teams could use the two points badly, but for very different reasons.
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Bolts are jockeying for playoff position, while the Stars are doing everything they can to simply qualify for the playoffs. Here’s a breakdown of both teams to help expose the best value bet on the board.
Dallas Stars vs Tampa Bay Lightning Odds – April 29th
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at DraftKings||Total|
|Dallas Stars||+1.5 (-165)||+150||O 5.5 (+105)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5 (+138)||-177||U 5.5 (-127)|
Odds as of April 28th
Lightning Hitting Stride at Perfect Time
Tampa Bay has clinched a playoff spot, but that doesn’t change the fact they need two points on Thursday. The Lightning currently sit third in the division, meaning if the playoffs started today they wouldn’t even have home ice.
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The good news is they are only three points back of the top spot in the Central, and there is still enough runway left to make up ground. They’ve won three straight games and appear to be playing their best hockey as the games get more important.
Brayden Point should be a key factor in this game. He leads the team in both goals with 21 and points with 45. Not only is he the team leader in the two most important categories, he’s coming off back-to-back three point games as well. Point also loves facing the Stars and their starting goalie Anton Khudobin.
We’re baaaaaack! ⚡️#GoBolts pic.twitter.com/knb2T2StGX
— x – Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 28, 2021
He tallied eight points in the final five games of Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup win last season. Point was so impressive in their playoff series against Dallas he received eight first place votes for the Conn Smythe award, one less than winner Victor Hedman.
Will Tampa Bay Exploit Goaltending Advantage?
Khudobin is expected to start for Dallas, but his game doesn’t look much like the one that helped the Stars within two games of a championship. He has only 11 wins in 27 starts this season and is now splitting time with presumed backup Jake Oettinger. On the flip side, the Lightning answer with Andrei Vasilevskiy who is taking aim at a second Vezina Trophy win in the last three years. Vasilevskiy is 29-8-1 this year with a 2.15 goals-against average, and a .927 save percentage.
Morgan Geekie’s pass 😍
Anton Khudobin’s save 🤯 pic.twitter.com/REKO1BXjy9
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) April 28, 2021
The one Stars forward to key in on is 36-year old veteran Joe Pavelski. He leads Dallas with 21 goals and 44 points this year. Many thought the Stars overpaid when they locked him up on a three-year, $21-million deal, but he’s still contributing in a big way. Tyler Seguin remains injured, and Jamie Benn’s contribution has dropped significantly so a large load will be placed on Pavelski’s shoulders Thursday night.
Stars vs Lightning Best Bet
The Lightning have been playing great and have proven consistently to be the better team in this matchup. They won last year’s Cup final and have also won four of the five meetings this year. Two of those victories covered the puck line and the Lightning should be expected to do that again in this game.
The Stars have nice individual pieces but the fact of the matter is the Lightning’s depth and superb goaltending are too much to handle. Trust the Lightning and Vasilevskiy to climb closer to the division lead, while the Stars fall farther out of a playoff spot.
The Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+138)
Ryan has been working at TSN for over eleven years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That’s Hockey. Over the years, he’s launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.