Ottawa Senators vs Tampa Bay NHL Spread: Odds And Prediction
Can Ottawa Build Momentum Now?
Not only was Ottawa's win over San Jose of the comeback variety, but it was of the huge comeback variety as the Sens trailed by three goals entering the third period.
For a team that's struggled to score all year long and had just one game of scoring more than a single goal in thier previous five outings, finding a way to pot three in the final frame was huge fot Ottawa. With that win just being their second in last eight games, the time is now for the Senators to build off this performance and find a way to string together a few wins in a row.
Tampa Bay is coming off a rare loss themselves, albeit via the shootout variety in Montreal the other night. The Lightning have been by far and away the best team in the league to date and with how much firepower they've got on offense they can be seemingly unstoppable at times.
But what's really lead them to their dominant record is their play defensively, both as a team and from their goalies, and after watching the Senators offense explode late against the Sharks, you'd better believe that Tampa will not be taking the Sens lightly.
Tampa Bay Vs. Ottawa Odds
Tampa Bay (-200) vs. Ottawa (+170): Total: 5.5
It's not surprise to see the Lightning as heavy chalk in this matchup, because one impressive win for the Sens doesn't erase basically two months of bad hockey by them. Situationally the spot isn't great for Ottawa either with them being on a back-to-back and Tampa having a day off, but you do have to wonder just how much confidence was gained by Ottawa with that win last night.
It's one thing to win a game to help regain confidence, but typically when you do it in the fashion Ottawa did (ie multi-goal comeback), the confidence can skyrocket. So if you are a believer in that win possibly sparking the Sens as they continue this three-game homestand, the value at +170 on the ML is defeinitely there.
The problem with that though is the fact that Tampa has only lost consecutive games once this entire year and that came back in November when they played @ Washington and @ Pittsburgh on consecutive nights. That's about as bad a situational spot as it gets in today's NHL and the Lightning don't have to worry about that working against them here.
Tampa Bay Vs. Ottawa Selection: Over 5.5 Goals
Instead of worring about the side in this game, as I really don't want to lay the -200 with Tampa Bay and the +170 just isn't tempting enough, I believe taking the total over the number is the better way to go in this game. Tampa Bay can score with the best of them in this league, and after two straight games of scoring two goals or less, the Lightning offense is definitely due for a breakout.
Remember, although the Sens did win on Friday, they still allowed five goals through the first two periods against the Sharks. That kind of sloppy play vs. Tampa will put the Senators in a big hole even earlier. If Ottawa's win did spark some needed confidence offensively in that dressing room, I believe it's better to trust the idea that it will manifest itself offensively first.
Whether or not it ends up leading to the win remains to be seen, but Ottawa should be able to score some goals themselves here after that 3rd period outburst last night. The Sens know they've got to likely score 3+ to have a chance at the upset, so they'd better be aggressive.
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