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Capitals Lightning Betting – Stamkos, Lightning Look To Pick Up Where They Left Off Against Division Rival Capitals

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/27/2012 5:55:35 PM
capitals lightning betting

It took a while for the Washington Capitals to adjust to a new head coach behind their bench, but the team is coming along and has now earned a point in six of their last 10 games to climb to the top spot in the Southeast division. Their next opponent was expected to challenge them for the division, but even though the Tampa Bay Lightning isn’t in the picture, it doesn’t appear as though they will be making drastic changes anytime soon. Nine points out of a playoff spot at the All Star break, Tampa Bay will host its division rivals as sports betting underdogs in the first game back, looking to begin to turn its season around before it becomes too late.

Washington Capitals @ Tampa Bay Lightning

Tuesday January 31, 2011 – 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida
NHL Sportsbook Lines: Washington Capitals - 110

One of the biggest problems for the Lightning so far this season has been a lack of quality goaltending, as the tandem of veteran Dwayne Roloson and Matthieu Garon simply hasn’t been good enough. Tampa Bay scored at least four goals in three of its final four games to reach the break on a four-game win streak, but they are still nine points back of the Capitals for first.

Capitals Lightning Betting Preview: Washington Capitals

Consistency will be the key in the nation’s capital heading in to the second half, as Washington was far too up and down even in the final weeks before the break. The Capitals were shutout by a New York Islanders’ team that is struggling to remain relevant 3-0 last Tuesday, bounced back against the struggling Montreal Canadiens with a 3-0 win, and then dropped another 3-0 decision to the Carolina Panthers before splitting games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Alex Ovechkin will not be available for this game as he continues to serve a three-game suspension, so Washington will need to be even more responsible at its own end to keep the Lightning from getting going.

Capitals Lightning Betting Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

With Steven Stamkos, Marin St. Louis, and Vinny Lecavalier, there is no shortage of firepower up front in Tampa Bay. The problem is that the aforementioned trio usually has to put up a ton of goals consistently in order to keep up with opponents that put up big numbers against their softer netminding, as the Lightning rank 30th in the league in goals against allowing an average of 3.4. Special teams is another area where Tampa Bay would really benefit if they can improve, as both their powerplay and penalty kill rank in the bottom third of the NHL.

Capitals Lightning Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Even with the problems that Tampa Bay has encountered, they should be the much hungrier team coming out of the break, and if they play with an edge in intensity and focus it should be enough to overcome a Capitals’ team that is without Ovechkin. The Lightning can score a ton of goals at home, and since Washington has shown a lack of consistency it’s a better sports bet choice to take the home team in this division rivalry.

Capitals Lightning Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning

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