The Ottawa Senators (4-5-2) play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning (8-2-1) at the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday evening.
The Senators made a very encouraging start to the season in which they exceeded most pundits predictions, but they’ve now lost their last four games prior to home and away fixtures against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday and Saturday.
The last result for the Senators doesn’t offer a great deal of hope either, with a heavy 5-1 loss away to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday evening not doing much for team morale ahead of facing a team of the Lightning’s quality.
The Senators are averaging 3.30 Goals per Game to leave them 12th in the overall NHL standings at present, but they are allowing a worrying 4.00 Goals per Game at the other end, which leaves them in a lowly 30th position.
Prior to facing the Senators, the Lightning face what seems certain to be a stern test on home-ice against the Nashville Predators on Thursday evening, followed by another potentially awkward game on the road against the Montreal Canadiens on a Saturday evening.
The Lightning’s last result was a comprehensive 8-3 home-ice win over the New Jersey Devils, despite having to come from 2-0 behind early on.
The Lightning average 3.60 Goals per Game to leave them 3rd overall in the rankings while allowing 2.70 Goals per Game to leave them in 8th position. They also rank 6th in terms of their Power Play PCT at 29.3 and 1st in the Penalty Kill PCT with 93.2.
The Lightning will be strong favourites in the Money Line odds in this game, particularly given their goalscoring capabilities and the defensive frailties shown by the Senators recently. It’s difficult to make any convincing argument for the Senators in this encounter, so the Lightning is strong tips to win this game convincingly.
Pick: Money Line – Tampa Bay Lightning