|CAR (106) @ pinnacle|
I think the wrong team is favored here. Carolina and Tampa Bay are battling for that top spot in the Central division with the Panthers, so this is about as big of a game as you can get in the NHL right now. These two teams played each other at the end of March, in Raleigh, and the Hurricanes won on a late powerplay goal. But above all that, they dominated the game. They had 40 shots on net to Tampa Bay’s 22, and they held possession for most of the game—they just had some early penalties and got in an early hole. They come into this game at the start of a huge road trip, and they catch the Lightning in a pretty bad spot — Tampa has gone just 5-7 in their last 12 games, and just played two tough games against their in-state rivals, the Panthers. I think Carolina comes out in this one flying, and I think they might have a goaltending advantage tonight as well. They will probably start Peter Mrazek — Mrazek over two months with an injury from late January to early April. Since coming back, he has allowed just 7 goals in 4 starts. The Hurricanes should be motivated to lock up this division lead tonight, and I think they should be a slight favorite.