The opening week of the new NHL season continues on Friday, October 14, with this conference clash, so feel free to check out the best Lightning vs. Blue Jackets betting pick and odds.
Both Tampa Bay and Columbus are hoping to record the first win of the new NHL season when they face at Nationwide Arena. The Lightning are -175 moneyline favorites on Bovada Sportsbook, while the total is set at 6 goals. These conference rivals have met on three occasions last season, and Tampa Bay won two of those games.
Lightning lost to the Rangers in the opener
The Tampa Bay Lightning (0-1) opened a new NHL season with a 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers. The hosts deservedly got a victory after recording 39 shots opposite Tampa’s 26. Ironically, the only period when the Lightning had more shots than the Rangers was the 3rd, but New York scored a pair of goals in that period and kept the visitors off the scoreboard.
The team captain Steven Stamkos scored the only goal for Tampa Bay, and it was an equalizer from a power play situation in the 2nd period. However, that was all from the Rays offensively, and they will be looking to bounce back on Friday in Columbus. Stamkos is going to be a man to watch against the Blue Jackets as he finished the last season as the top point-maker for the Lightning with 106 (G 42, A 64), the 7th best tally in the entire NHL. Alongside Stamkos, Victor Hedman (85 points; G 20, A 65) and Nikita Kucherov (69 pts; G 25, A 44) are the most important players for Tampa.
D Zach Bogosian (shoulder), D Ian Cole (suspension), and C Anthony Cirelli (shoulder) are out indefinitely and will not play on Friday against Columbus.
Blue Jackets couldn’t upset the Hurricanes in the opener
The Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1) also didn’t experience the best start as they took a 4-1 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite having a 1-0 lead through Patrik Laine early in the second period, the Blue Jackets lost without scoring anymore. They had a goal disallowed after the coach’s challenge in the 2nd, and since then, it was Carolina’s game.
The Canes scored a pair of goals in the final period and outshot Columbus 20-8 in the last 20 minutes. The Blue Jackets, who were short of reaching the playoffs for 19 points last year, are hoping for a better campaign this time around, but it will be hard with fierce competition in the East. Columbus’ top three players last year were Jakub Voracek (62 pts; G 6, A 56), Patrik Laine (56 pts; G 26, A 30), and Gustav Nyquist (53 pts; G 18, A 35).
G Joonas Korpisalo (hip) is out against the Lightning on Friday. RW Patrik Laine left the last game with an upper-body injury and is questionable to feature against Tampa Bay.
- 4-1 in the last five vs. Metropolitan Division rivals
- 5-1 in the last six games against Columbus
- 2-7 in the last nine overall
- 1-4 in the last five vs. Eastern Conference opponents
- 1-6 in the last seven Friday games
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The last season’s Stanley Cup finalists and one of the most potent teams in the NHL, the Lightning shouldn’t have problems beating Columbus here. Tampa Bay has more quality on both offense and defense, and with the availability of one of the best Columbus players, Patrik Laine, in the clouds, I am not sure how the Blue Jackets can cope with the visitors offensively. Elvis Merzlikins is probable to start between the sticks for the Blue Jackets, which is an upgrade to Daniil Tarasov, but that will not save the hosts from losing this game.
Pick: Take the Lightning at -1 (+115)
I doubt the Blue Jackets can score more than two goals against Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning in this game. On the other hand, I expect Tampa to bounce back after scoring just one goal in New York and score 4+ goals against the team with the fifth-worst defense in the NHL last year. Both H2H duels played in Columbus last season produced 7+ goals. Over is 5-2 in the last seven H2H meetings; Over is 5-0 in the previous five H2H clashes in Columbus, while Over is 34-13-4 in the Blue Jackets’ last 51 home games.
Pick: Go Over 6 goals (-110)