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Lightning at Leafs in Key Game

Stamkos has found his offense

Stamkos has found his offense

The demise of the Tampa Bay Lightning may have been exaggerated a bit. Following the Olympic break and the fallout thereafter which resulted in the team parting ways with Martin St. Louis, the Bolts began a six game home stand 0-3 and saw their playoff status dip into the Wild Card pool. But since then Tampa Bay has won three in  row and perhaps more importantly, discovered they can still put the puck into the net. Their three wins are a 5-4 decision over the Florida Panthers, a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils and a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Now the Bolts go on the road to the Great White North where they will face the Toronto Maple Leafs who trail them by only one point in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs have won the two previous meetings this season. They are one point behind the Bolts after dropping their last two games, a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings 3-2.

The winner of this game will be back out of the Wild Card pool and will still be in the running to host a first round series. The Leafs will hist the second place Montreal Canadiens after the Lightning leaves town. They trail the Habs by only three points so they can go all the way to second place with a pair of home wins. The Lightning will stay in Canada and move on to play the Ottawa Senators before closing the road swing out with a game at the Pittsburgh Penguins. Needless to ay this is a big week for the teams in the Atlantic, especially the Lightning.

In their three game win streak they are getting production from two important players, Steven Stamkos, who recently missed 45 games to a broken leg and Ryan Callahan, who they acquired for St. Louis from the New York Rangers. Callahan assisted on Stamkos goal to put them up 1-0 against the Canucks and Stamkos then assisted on a Valterri Filpuppa goal late in the second period to put them up 3-0. That is a very good sign for Tampa Bay who sorely needs some production from those two guys.

Bovada has the odds on tonight’s game:

Tampa Bay at Toronto-  Tampa Bay is – 1.5 +225 and Toronto is +1.5 -265 ATS. Moneyline is Tampa Bay -125 and Toronto +105. We like the Leafs +105 at home. Until the Lightning shows us they can win on the road we are not yet convinced. They also need to prove to us they can beat the Leafs. Take Toronto +105.


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