The Central Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes will blow into Tampa Bay to face the Lightning tonight. Tampa Bay is currently in third place in the Central Division, just two points behind the Canes, but they are coming off a doubleheader against the Panthers wherein they lost 5-3 and had a difficult win in OT in the first game. Before that, they lost heavily to the Predators 7-2. Tampa Bay has not had an easy time recently, but on the other side of the rink, the Hurricanes look great.
Carolina is coming off back-to-back wins against the Predators, wherein they won both games handily. They outscored Nashville 7-2 over both games and looked excellent. Tampa Bay should pay great attention to Carolina as it will be their biggest test in the last few weeks.
The Hurricanes go into tonight's game with a one-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the top spot in the Division and 15 points ahead of the fifth-place team, which keeps them on the right side of the playoff cut-off line. The Canes are 10th in scoring in the league, with an average of 3.16 goals per game, and they lead the league on power-play goals, scoring 27.9% of their man-advantage plays.
Playoff's Around the Corner
No matter how you look at it, the Lightning is in for a tough one tonight, especially with the playoffs in sight. The post-season begins on May 11 and teams will be going to lock in their spots.
This game should be an easy choice for punters interested. The Hurricanes are the underdogs, but, the chances of them beating the Lightning should make things closer. bet365 Sports has posted in favor of Tampa Bay at 1.83, while the Canes (my pick) is back at 2.00 for the outright win.
The odds in this article at the bookmaker mentioned above were accurate at the time of writing, on April 19 at 9:00 GMT.