Canucks vs. Lightning: Best Bets and Preview

TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks faces off during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on October 19, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks faces off during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on October 19, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks finally broke their pattern of winning one game and losing the next on Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Elias Pettersson put the team on his back, finishing with three points, including the game-winning goal.

Tonight the Canucks face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second and final time of the season. Early this season, Nikita Kucherov and his two goals led the Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Canucks.

The Canucks should have their hands full tonight in a tough matchup with Kucherov coming to Vancouver. The Russian super-star currently sits atop the NHL with 47 points, seven more than the Canucks own, J.T. Miller. Kucherov has played an all-around game tied for the league lead in both goals and assists.

Canucks Preview:

Vancouver, coming off two straight home wins, has put themselves back into the elite home ice teams conversation. With a 10-3-1 home record, this ranks them as the third-best team at home, only behind the Vegas Golden Knights and the Boston Bruins.

Over the last two seasons of watching this Tampa Bay squad, they look like a completely different team on the road than they do at home. Over that span, the Lightning have a 74% points percentage in 53 home games; this number drops to 44% on the road in 56 road games.

These teams come into tonight’s game sharing the same record of 3-1 in their last four games played. Tampa Bay has the edge on Vancouver, winning seven straight and nine of their last ten head-to-head matchups.

When these two teams meet, there is no shortage of goals. They have covered the 6.5-game total line in three straight and five of their last seven meetings.

Tonight, we see a matchup against the league’s top two leading scorers, Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Miller. Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes rounding out the top ten, and Brock Boeser and Brayden Point in the top twenty.

The Lightning have only gone over the total in three of their last ten games, while Vancouver has gone over in only five of their last ten. But, with all this star power, it’s hard to imagine a world where this game stays under the 6.5-goal total.

Player Props:

Steven Stamkos Over 2.5 Shots On Goal

Steven Stamkos sat out Saturday night’s game against the Seattle Kraken due to an illness. With what would now be five days of rest, I’d project he draws back into the lineup tonight.

Stamkos comes to tonight’s game failing to hit this over in three straight. However, it wasn’t due to a lack of attempts. He finished with sixteen shot attempts, landing only four on net in those three games.

The Lightning Captain has found most of his shot volume on the road this season, clearing this line in 58% of all road games, averaging 3.2 shots on 5.9 shot attempts per game.

The Canadian has impressive success against his Canadian matchup tonight. He’s cleared this line in four straight, six of his last seven against the Canucks, averaging 5.0 shots on goal per game.

Stamkos gets up for these games in Vancouver, clearing this line in all eight career games in Rogers Arena, averaging 4.8 shots on goal per game.

The Sniper sees most of his shot volume on the powerplay, leading the Lightning in powerplay shots on goal and shot attempts this season. Not only does he lead his team, but he ranks fourth in the league for powerplay shots on goal with 33. Stamkos should see time on the man advantage tonight, as Vancouver is giving up 3.1 powerplay opportunities per game.

Given Stamkos’s history against Vancouver, recording 4+ shots in six of his last seven and all eight road games, I’ll be playing his 4+ shots for 0.5 units for +170 odds. Stamkos has cleared his 2.5-shot line in 50% of games this season and had 4+ shots in all but one of those games.

J.T. Miller Over 2.5 Shots On Goal and Point

A pivot option if Stamkos is ruled out with an illness again. 

J.T. Miller makes sure the Lightning regrets trading him every time they meet. Miller has cleared his shot line in four straight against the Bolts, averaging 5.25 shots per game. J.T. has covered his shot line in five straight and seven of his last eight home games.

The second leading NHL point scorer has points in fourteen of his last seventeen games, totalling 24 points. Miller has 23 points in 14 home games this season. The former Lightning has seven points on his current four-game point streak against his former team.

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Best Bet Summary:

Vancouver Canucks/Tampa Bay Lightning Over 6.5 Goals (+100) for 1 unit.

Steven Stamkos Over 2.5 Shots On Goal (-145) for 1 unit.

Steven Stamkos Over 3.5 Shots On Goal (+170) for 0.5 units.

Pivot: J.T. Miller Over 2.5 Shots On Goal and Point (+135) for 0.5 units.

Last Game Recap: 1-2 -1.22 units.

Boeser manages only one shot on four shot attempts.

Zuccarello and the Wild get shutout. We can’t be too upset about losing this play!

Canucks win 2-0, with Boeser finding an assist on the first goal of the game.

All-Time Record: 20-15 +2.01 units.