Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Prediction, Betting Odds

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Oct 12, 2021

The quest for a third straight Stanley Cup begins, as the Tampa Bay Lightning open the season at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh
12-8-1-4
AT
October 12, 2021, 7:30 PM ET
Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay
16-5-2-2
Puckline +1.5 -110
Moneyline +215
Over / Under o +6

17%

Betting Action

83%

Puckline -1.5 -110
Moneyline -270
Over / Under u +6

17%

Betting Action

83%

The NHL is back with the opening night featuring the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, hosting an already injury-plagued Pittsburgh Penguins roster.

The Bolts are heavy -210 favourites to win on the NHL odds, with a total of 6.0.

Penguins vs. Lightning Betting Odds

Tampa has won the last four games in this head-to-head series, including both meetings last year.  Sports Interaction bettors seem to see that trend continuing, as almost 80 per cent of action is taking the Lightning.  The Over is favoured at just under 70 per cent, although it’s worth noting these teams haven’t gone above the number against each other in three straight contests.

The Penguins finished with a winning 4-2 record in this year’s pre-season.  The NHL futures board has Pittsburgh sitting at -187 to make the playoffs, +540 to win the Metropolitan Division and +1209 to win the Eastern Conference.  Their Stanley Cup odds sit at +2600.

The Lightning were fairly mediocre in the pre-season, going 3-4 in seven games.  They’re heavily favoured to make the playoffs at +1667 and they’re modest favourites to win the Atlantic Division at +149 and win the Eastern Conference at +282.  Tampa Bay is +668 to win a third straight Stanley Cup, trailing only Colorado at +506.

Tampa Bay has been tough to beat at home.  The Lightning are 51-19 in their last 70 games at Amalie Arena and have won five straight home contests against the Pens.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in an interesting situation.  They’re clearly still a playoff-calibre team, but their Stanley Cup window is starting to close, as future Hall-of-Famers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin get older.  Unfortunately for Pens fans, Crosby and Malkin will both miss this game.  Crosby is expected to be out for about another week after off-season wrist surgery, although he was back at practice for the first time on Saturday.  Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the season following knee surgery.

Jeff Carter and Evan Rodrigues are expected to centre the top two lines on Tuesday.  Tristan Jarry will get the nod between the pipes.  Jarry was an All-Star in 2019-20, but struggled with consistency last year.  For the season, he went 25-9-3 (two shutouts) with a 2.75 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.  In two career games against Tampa, Jarry has stopped 78 of 83 shots faced.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning open this season with possibly the best goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and defenceman, Victor Hedman, in the NHL.  It doesn’t hurt that they also have a lot of firepower up front, with the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos.  Tampa’s depth took a bit of a hit in the off-season.  They lost Yanni Gourde in the expansion draft, as well as Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow in free agency.  Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were brought in to fill out the bottom-six up front.

Vasilevskiy is going to be tough to beat in this game and is a +376 favourite to win this year’s Vezina Trophy.  Last year’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner was 18-2 at home in the regular season, with a 1.75 GAA and .936 SV.  Overall, Vasilevskiy was 31-10-1 (five shutouts), with a 2.21 GAA, 925 SV and was a Vezina finalist.  In 23 playoff games, he went 16-7, posting five shutouts, with a 1.90 GAA, .937 SV.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Penguins vs. Lightning?

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