The Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to finish the Eastern Conference final with a win on home ice in Game 6 Tuesday night. While the Bolts have certainly been a great home team during the postseason (6-2 SU), there has been no real home-ice advantage per se in this series, but there is one trend bettors should be taking note of when these two teams play.
- The Penguins are 2-6 SU in their last eight games against the Lightning.
- The Lightning are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games as underdogs.
- The Lightning are 5-1 SU in their last six games with one day off between games.
Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Lightning at +120 in moneyline markets while the Pens come in at -140. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5.5 goals is priced at +120 while UNDER 5.5 goals is -140. In puckline markets, the Pens are +205 as -1.5 faves while the Bolts are -245 as puckline dogs.
OVER wagers have cashed in three-straight contests in the series with the OVER/UNDER record now sitting at 3-1-1 entering Game 6. As a matter of fact, this trend isn’t really anything new when it comes down to the Penguins and Lightning as 17 of the previous 20 meetings between these two have cashed for OVER bettors.
The debate has been raging over who should start in the crease for the Pens - Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury – and, as of Tuesday afternoon, it looks like head coach Mike Sullivan is going back to Murray, who had performed admirably throughout the postseason until the change. Fleury got the start in Game 5 after replacing Murray in Game 4.
Still, it doesn’t seem to matter who is in the blue paint for the Pens as Nikita Kucherov is taking the postseason by storm. The 22-year-old leads the playoffs with 11 goals including a clutch game-tying goal with just over three minutes on the clock in Game 5, before Tyler Johnson, who is also coming up with timely goals, scored the winner.