Tampa Bay Lightning will host Nashville Predators in the NHL 2021/22 preseason Week 2. The home side searches for an improvement and wants to bounce back with a win. The visitors also look for their first preseason victory, and they want to start building up their form.
Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t enjoy their previous preseason, as they had a 3-3-2 record. However, the Lightning started raising their form as the regular season approached, and they booked two wins in the last three prep games. On the other hand, Nashville Predators had a 6-1 record last time, and they celebrated four times in a row in the preseason. However, they come from two straight defeats and want to break that losing run.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Can they challenge for the Stanley Cup again?
Tampa Bay searches for another successful campaign and a chance to retain the Stanley Cup. The hosts finished the regular season as third in the Central Division with a 36-17-3 record, but in poor form, as they tied three straight defeats ahead of the playoffs. However, the Lightning saw off Florida Panthers in Round 1 in six matches and didn’t have too much trouble against the Hurricanes in the next round. The Islanders challenged them in seven games, but Tampa Bay found the way to the Stanley Cup finals. And when they got there, the Lightning allowed only one victory to the Canadiens in the tie.
The Lightning shed their entire third line, which was the key to success in the playoffs. However, they closed a few experienced players on affordable deals. On the other hand, Tampa Bay’s top players are back, and Nikita Kucherov should be back and ready for the regular-season start. We should also keep an eye on a couple of talented young players, especially Alex Barre Boulet and Mathieu Joseph. They should get significant playing time in the preseason, along with other youngsters.
Expected Line-Up: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jan Rutta, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point
with best odds
Nashville Predators – Are they capable of another post-season camapgin?
The Predators went to post-season last time, although they had a lot of troubles on that road. They eventually finished fourth in the Central Division and entered the playoffs. Mattias Ekholm and Mikael Granlund were on the block in one period, but Nashville stormed with four wins in the final five rounds of the regular season. They headed to the playoffs with a 31-23-2 record, but their campaign ended pretty quickly since the Hurricanes eliminated them on the first step in six games.
Their roster has undergone significant changes during the off-season, and the departures of Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis are the most notable trade aways. Jusse Saros should replace Pekka Rinne, who retired, and he could drive the Predators to success if he keeps the high level of performance. Nashville will remain in the Central Division, where several teams will challenge for the post-season ticket. However, they could have a good campaign and manage to enter the playoffs.
Expected Line-Up: Juuse Saros, Roman Josi, Philippe Myers, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Eeli Tolvanen
Expert Pick #1 – Tampa Bay Lightning to Win ML @-105
Both teams head to this game without a victory in the preseason. Although it is pretty tough to predict games like this one, I think Tampa Bay should book their first win. Lightning’s youngsters want to show they are capable of some serious action this season, and I’ll take the hosts as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 5.5 @-110
Tampa Bay was very productive last season, and they have significant attacking potential. Since this is a prep match and both teams will rotate a lot, it will be a good opportunity for everybody to have a decent playing time. I anticipate an efficient game that should go over, and that is my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 @+164
I’ll take a risk with higher odds here and back the Lightning to win by at least two goals. The defending champions seek an improvement after their latest prep match and might put a good display in this one. Therefore, I’m backing them to cover the spread as the third pick.