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Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Red Wings vs Lightning

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Detroit Red Wings (34-16-6) at Tampa Bay Lightning (34-17-6)
Date/Time: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:30 PM ET
Venue: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Broadcast: FS-D (HD), SUN (HD)
Wings vs. Lightning Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Spread: Detroit +1.5, Tampa -1.5
Moneyline: Detroit -105, Tampa Bay -115
Over/Under: 5.5
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A battle of Division leaders headlines a busy night of NHL Betting on Thursday when the Detroit Red Wings travel to Tamp Bay. This is not just any regular game – it will be the first meeting between Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman’s team and Detroit. Yzerman has assembled a very good team in Tampa – one that should give his former club quite a run.

The Detroit Red Wings are getting healthy – not a good sign for the rest of the league. The Wings will welcome Brad Stuart back to the lineup on Thursday after a lengthy time on the injured list. He will join Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary and Thomas Holmstrom on a club that is as healthy as they have been for two months. Detroit is 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and has won two straight games ahead of their showdown with the Lightning.

Detroit has maintained the league’s second best offense through their injuries. They average 3.3 goals per game. Juri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi all have four points in their last two games and Pavel Datsyuk has five points in four games since his return. It is a testament to Detroit’s depth that they keep winning despite Johan Franzen having just two points in six games and Nicklas Lidstrom being pointless in six games.

The Red Wings weakness this season has been their defense and goaltending which is a major surprise. They are 19th in the NHL in goals against and give up an average of 2.9 goals per game. Jimmy Howard seems to have worked through a slump and is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals against average in his last two starts.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to defy all NHL Betting expectations and are five points clear of the Washington Capitals for the Southeast Division lead. They have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off an extra time loss to fellow division leader Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Tampa has risen to the sixth best offensive club in the NHL averaging 3.0 goals per game. Steven Stamkos has maintained his impressive pace with six points in his last four games. He is the league leader in goals and in points. Vincent Lecavalier has re-emerged as an offensive threat and has five points in three games and the latest unheralded superstar Teddy Purcell has 11 points in his last eight games. Simone Gagne, Martin St. Louis and Steve Downie are conspicuously absent from this Hot list – if they appear any time soon, the Lightning will be scary!

Tampa Bay has gone from the worst defensive team in the NHL to 24th since the acquisition of Dwayne Roloson. Roloson is 9-5-1 with a 2.64 goals against average with Tampa Bay – the Lightning have given up an average of over three goals per game this season! Thank you Mr. Roloson for rescuing Tampa Bay!

Betting Prediction: The Detroit Red Wings are 17-8-4 on the road this season and are 9-4 in their last 13 away from home.  The Tampa Bay Lightning are an impressive 19-6-3 at home this season, are 8-3 in their last 11 games overall and are 13-5 in their last 18 games at home.

Thursday night will be the second straight division leader that the Lightning will face in three days. The Flyers beat them on Tuesday and the healthy and energized Red Wings will do the same. It will be a good game but the Red Wings will hand the Lightning their second straight home loss.

NHL Trends:

DET are 9-4 in their last 13 road games.
DET are 22-10-3 in their last 35 vs. Southeast.
Over is 34-16-1 in DET last 51 Thu. games.
TB are 8-3 in their last 11 overall.
TB are 13-5 in their last 18 home games.
Over is 11-5 in TB last 16 Thu. games.
Home team is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings.

Pick: Detroit Red Wings

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