Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets - 8/15/20 NHL Picks and Prediction

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets - 8/15/20 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning (46-23-6) at Columbus Blue Jackets (37-23-17)

NHL Hockey: Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm (Scotiabank Arena)

The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets +138 / Tampa Bay Lightning -167 --- Over/Under: 5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning meet Saturday in game three of the NHL East First Round at the Scotiabank Arena.  

The Tampa Bay Lightning look for a bounce back victory to take a 2-1 series lead. The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging two goals per game and are scoring on 18.2 percent of their power play opportunities. Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay with three goals, Nikita Kucherov has three assists and Victor Hedman has 18 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing 2.60 goals per game and are killing 84.2 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 12 goals on 174 shots faced.

The Columbus Blue Jackets look for back-to-back victories to take a 2-1 series lead. The Columbus Blue Jackets are averaging 2.43 goals per game and are scoring on 9.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Pierre-Luc Dubois leads Columbus with four goals, Alexandre Texier has four assists and Zach Werenski has 19 shots on goal. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing two goals per game and are killing 89.5 percent of their opponents power plays. Joonas Korpisalo has given up nine goals on 239 shots faced and Elvis Merzlikins has allowed four goals on 74 shots.

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The Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 Saturday games, 75-29 in their last 104 vs. Eastern Conference and 107-52 in their last 159 overall. The Blue Jackets are 5-2 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest, 5-1 in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games and 7-15 in their last 22 overall. The over is 44-21-1 in Lightning last 66 Saturday games. The under is 11-5-1 in Blue Jackets last 17 vs. Atlantic. The Lightning are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Columbus and 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.

The Tampa Bay Lightning should be the favorite here for obvious reasons, but I'm not thrilled about this price, especially with Tampa Bay having scoring issues in the bubble up to this point. I'm leaning more toward the total in game three and going with the under. Four of the last five games between the Lightning and Blue Jackets have produced five or less goals, and the first two games of this series are averaging 4.5 goals. The under is 5-0-1 in the Lightning's last six games and 7-2-1 in the Blue Jackets last 10 games. Crucial game three with the series tied, defense and conservative play should take over.

Give me the under five goals.

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Mitch's Take...

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets 8/15/20 NHL Pick and Prediction Stanley Cup Playoffs

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