Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning - 8/19/20 NHL Picks and Prediction

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning - 8/19/20 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets (37-25-17) at Tampa Bay Lightning (48-23-6)

NHL Hockey: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)

The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -185 / Columbus Blue Jackets +149 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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

The Tampa Bay Lightning can end this series with a victory here and advance to the next round. The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging 2.14 goals per game and are scoring on 13.3 percent of their power play opportunities. Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay with four goals, Nikita Kucherov has four assists and Victor Hedman has 23 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing 2.29 goals per game and are killing 88 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 15 goals on 220 shots faced.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets need a win here to save their season and force a game six on Friday. The Columbus Blue Jackets are averaging 2.22 goals per game and are scoring on 7.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Pierre-Luc Dubois leads Columbus with four goals, Alexandre Texier has four assists and Zach Werenski has 25 shots on goal. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing 2.11 goals per game and are killing 91.3 percent of their opponents power plays. Joonas Korpisalo has given up 14 goals on 295 shots faced and Elvis Merzlikins has allowed four goals on 74 shots.

The Blue Jackets are 5-11 in their last 16 vs. Eastern Conference, 5-12 in their last 17 games as an underdog and 7-17 in their last 24 overall. The Lightning are 160-75 in their last 235 games as a favorite, 69-28 in their last 97 games playing on 1 days rest and 35-16 in their last 51 overall. The under is 3-0-2 in Blue Jackets last 5 overall. The under is 6-0-2 in Lightning last 8 overall. The Blue Jackets are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings. The under is 27-10-3 in the last 40 meetings.

The Tampa Bay Lightning appear to have sank their teeth in this series, as the defensive pressure has picked up and they're a veteran bunch that usually gets the job done when they smell blood in the water. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been on the losing side of countless tough games against the Lightning, and they've had zero recent success in the underdog role. Once the Tampa Bay Lightning take control of a series it's hard to get it back. I expect the Lightning to close things out on Wednesday. 

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Randy’s Pick Tampa Bay Lightning -185

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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