Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are -200 home favorites as they face the Washington Capitals on Saturday, February 27th at 7:10 pm ET
- Tampa Bay defeated Dallas in six games to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.
- See below for game analysis and a betting prediction
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars face off for the first time this season on Saturday night. This is because of the postponements from last week. Dallas has seen a few “breaks” in their season including the season-opening delay due to COVID. Tampa Bay has been able to get in a rhythm with fewer postponements.
Overall, Tampa Bay has won nine of the last 14 meetings dating back to 2017. These teams both play defensively very well as they rank in the top ten in goals allowed. Tampa Bay yields just 2.17 goals per game (2nd), and Dallas allows 2.53 goals per contest (6th).
Tampa Bay’s home record (8-1) is a big reason why they are such a big -200 moneyline favorites. Steven Stamkos has been up to his old scoring tricks, racking up 9 goals and 17 points in the early going.
Dallas last played Tampa Bay on September 28th, 2020 and Tampa Bay won that meeting 2-0 along with the Stanley Cup.
Stars vs Lightning Odds
|Dallas Stars||+166||+1.5 (-170)||Over 5.5 (-112)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-200||-1.5 (+140)||Under 5.5 (-108)|
Odds taken Feb. 26th at FanDuel.
The Constant That Is Steven Stamkos
The Lightning has been among the best offenses in the league for the past several seasons but a big reason for that this year has been Steven Stamkos. He has 9 goals and 8 assists on 44 shots and five of his nine tallies have come on the man advantage. Of course, that slap shot is still lethal from distance.
Tampa Bay Lightning GOAL! 🚨
Steven Stamkos (9) scores on a slap shot from 39 feet away with 17:34 left in the 2nd period.
— Lightning Game Bot (@lightning_game) February 23, 2021
An important thing for Stamkos has been his ability to stay healthy this year. Tampa Bay has needed that with Brayden Point being out and Nikita Kucherov (hip) out for the regular season.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
An Up and Down Dallas
While Dallas got off to a nice start, they have fallen on some harder times as they have won just twice in their last ten games (2-4-2-2).
Their best player has been Joe Pavelski who has 20 points on the year (10 goals, 10 assists). He started the season with 7 points in his first two games and lately has 6 points in his previous six contests.
Joe Pavelski opened the scoring for the @DallasStars with his team-leading 10th goal of the season (10-10—20 in 15 GP).
Only seven players age 36 or older in NHL history have reached the 10-goal mark in fewer games played. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/qZWYjxvge2
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 26, 2021
Dallas needs more scoring from players like Jamie Benn and consistency from John Klingberg — especially later in games. That has been the Stars’ biggest problem lately is closing games out.
Dallas has not had the services of Tyler Seguin all season due to an injured hip along with Ben Bishop (knee). However, losing Alexander Radulov and Roope Hintz to lower-body injuries has further impacted Dallas.
Per Stars PR: Roope Hintz out with lower body injury tonight
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 24, 2021
Hintz seems like he has the least serious of the injuries but is not expected back anytime soon.
Losing Seguin, Bishop, and Radulov was bad enough but losing a speedy forward like Hintz makes it tougher for Dallas to keep up with the speed of Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Feasting At Home
The Lightning, despite a few COVID delays and injuries, has performed excellently at home. Tampa Bay enjoys an 8-1 record at the Amalie Arena. They rank 10th in the NHL at 24.6% on the man advantage but are scoring at a rate of 3.56 goals per game (2nd). That average climbs closer to four goals a game at home which explains their 7-2 record covering the puckline.
Updated season overview & last 10 game stats after the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3 to 1.#GoBolts pic.twitter.com/xc6n9EOPcY
— Lightning Game Bot (@lightning_game) February 26, 2021
Overall, Tampa Bay scores at a rate of 3.56 goals per game while yielding just 2.17 goals per contest. Dallas scores at 3.07 goals per game while allowing 2.53 goals a night. Tampa Bay’s differential is tops in the NHL.
The key in this game may be the Dallas power play (30.9% — 5th) versus the Tampa Bay penalty kill (86.9% — 4th). If Tampa Bay can stay out of the penalty box and kill penalties, their offense should be able to take care of the rest.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-200)
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.