Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Wild vs Lightning NHL Odds
Looking for Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Wild taking on the Lightning on Thursday March 9th at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(42-15-6) Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (30-26-9)
Date: Thursday March 9th
Time: 4:30 PM
Venue: Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, FL
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Wild -120
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds:
NHL Betting Total: 5.5
Live NHL Odds
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
Tampa Bay and Minnesota were both active at the trade deadline, though each for different reasons. The Lightning were able to alleviate some salary cap concerns for next season, while still giving themselves a shot at playoffs this year.
Minnesota added in effort to make a deep playoff run.
Minnesota has been one of the best surprises in the NHL this season, sitting 1st in the Central Division with 90 points and having some of the best team metrics in the league.
The Wild currently rank 2nd in goals per game, scoring at an average clip of 3.3 per contest.
They boast one of the best goaltenders and defensive units as well, evidenced by their 2.3 goals against per game that places them 4th in the category.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher dealt a heavy price when he sent the Wild’s 2017 1st round pick and 2018 2nd round picks, plus a conditional pick in 2019 in exchange for Martin Hanzal, Ryan White and a 2017 4th round pick from the Arizona Coyotes.
Hanzal now gives the Wild a trio up the middle of Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu, and Hanzal, as deep of a group as most.
Staal, the off-season signee, is having a resurgent season with 48 points. Mikael Granlund is having a career year, leading the team with 21 goals and 59 points in 63 games.
The goaltending performance of Devan Dubnyk this season should make him a front-runner for the Vezina trophy come awards season.
Dubnyk has a 2.01 GAA and a .933 SV%, the latter which leads the league and the former which sits second to just Braden Holtby. Dubnyk also leads the NHL with 35 wins.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Speaking of goaltending, Tampa Bay shipped out their former #1, Ben Bishop, to the Los Angeles Kings in a long-anticipated Bishop trade.
The pending UFA netted a return of backup, Peter Budaj, as well as a conditional draft pick and prospect Erik Cernak, a former second-round selection.
The reigns now fall to Andrei Vasilveskiy, who owns a .909 SV% and a 2.81 GAA on the season, playing roughly half of the games when Bishop was still in town.
Budaj provides the young goalie a solid veteran back-up, as Budaj owns a .917 SV% and 2.12 GAA on the year, who was spelling the injured Jonathan Quick in LA.
Tampa ranks about league average in both goals per game scored (17th) and goals against (15th), and suggest that their fringe playoff hopes are about where the team has performed to.
The Lightning were many pundits selection as 2016-17 Cup Champions, though an early injury to star, Steven Stamkos, has had a major impact.
Nikita Kucherov is establishing himself as one of the better offense players in the league, leading the Lightning with 28 goals and 63 points on the year.
The secondary scoring up front hasn’t been as supportive, as the next best forward is Tyler Johnson and his 43 points. No other Lightning player has 20 goals.
NHL Betting Trends:
- The Lightning rank 17th overall in goals per game at 2.7
- Tampa Bay is 17-11-3 at home
- Tampa Bay has a total goal differential of minus-2 this year
- Victor Hedman sits 3rd in defenseman scoring with 55 points
- Minnesota is 19-7-5 on the road
- Minnesota is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games
Free Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey Prediction:
With Dubnyk in net and the likes of Steven Stamkos still out of the Lightning lineup, I like a tight-checking, lower-scoring affair. The Wild have a solid defense corps, led by Ryan Suter, who is excellent at shutting down the oppositions top options.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Under 5.5.
Likewise for the Lightning with Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman.
NHL Free Score Prediction: Minnesota 3 – Tampa Bay 1
If you’re looking for more NHL picks like this Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning matchup we’ll be providing 4* free NHL predictions on the blog during the entire 2016 NHL season, and check out our Experts for guaranteed premium & free NHL Hockey picks!
CappersPicks.com has Stanley Cup odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NHL lines up for early games as well.