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Bruins Hope to Move Step Closer to Atlantic Division Title Against Lightning

David Pastrnak Brayden Point NHL Hockey Betting Preview Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning

The Boston Bruins (41-13-12) will try to increase their lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning (41-19-5) to nine points on Tuesday when they visit Amalie Arena as small road underdogs. The Bruins have not closed as underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark since visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins back on January 19 and lost that game 4-3 when starting goaltender Tuukka Rask was out due to a concussion.

Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Opening Odds Analysis

The odds have already moved in favor of the road team, as Boston knows this is a huge matchup that can help wrap up the division title. The Bruins are a better team with Rask in net as well, and he should be well-rested after last playing on Saturday. Tampa Bay is also playing without captain Steven Stamkos, who is out six to eight weeks after core surgery.

Boston News & Notes

It is hard to talk about Boston’s success again this season without mentioning Rask and how well he has played following a disappointing performance in the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. Rask (24-7-6, 2.16 goals-against average) was brilliant in a 4-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night with 25 saves as the team justified being a -145 road favorite.

The Bruins continue to have one of the best road records in the league as well at 19-10-3 in chasing the Presidents’ Trophy, an honor the Lightning earned a year ago before going on to get swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The key for Boston down the stretch will be staying healthy and keeping Rask in top form for the long haul, with the ultimate goal obviously winning the Stanley Cup that eluded this squad a year ago.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Tampa Bay is also actively chasing Lord Stanley’s Cup as one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference and would be wise to follow a similar plan over the next month or so, with Stamkos already expected to be out until the postseason.

Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy (33-12-3, 2.62) has been amazing as usual between the pipes for the Lightning, and like Rask will probably be the key to his team’s playoff fortunes.

One thing Tampa Bay has to really like about this matchup is its recent success, winning nine of the past 10 meetings dating back to 2018, according to the Odds Shark NHL Database. Vasilevskiy has won his last three regular-season starts against the Bruins since going 1-3 during the 2017-18 season, and these teams look like they are on a collision course to meet in the second round.

Betting Pick: Tampa Bay -114

These teams play twice in five days, and you can bet the Lightning will want to make another huge statement here on their home ice. Tampa Bay may not win the division this year, but Boston did not last year and still managed to get all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. That said, this is a very cheap price on a club that has gone a solid 21-9-2 at home this year.

Shark Bites
  • Tampa Bay has won 9 of the past 10 meetings with Boston.
  • The OVER is 3-1 in the past 4 meetings.
  • Boston is 13-3 in its last 16 games.