Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST.
7:30 PM EST. OT included. The Lightning are in the playoffs, and while an Atlantic division title would be nice, Tampa's goal is to win it all this year and anything less would be considered a failure. With many pundits pegging this year the Lightning's best chance to cash in, motivation down the stretch becomes an issue. Just ask Chris Kunitz, “We didn’t have that urgency to play with a team that was flying tonight." That was in response to Tampa's sluggish effort in New Jersey last time out. It's dangerous to spot a big price with a team like the Lightning this time of year, especially when Andrei Vasilevskiy is riding the pine as he is tonight. Backup Louis Domingue spent the early part of his career in the desert after being drafted by Arizona in 2010. If anybody knows his weak spots, and a not so sparkling .890 save percentage would suggest there are many, it would be these Coyotes, who went up against him in practice every day for a couple of seasons.
Goaltending is everything in the NHL. Enter Antti Raanta who has been confirmed to patrol the crease in Tampa tonight. Raanta has won his last two starts and allowed no more than two goals in four straight games. His .954 save percentage over this last 10 starts is almost .20 points higher than his .926 mark on the season. Even though they have nothing to show for the last two games, the Coyotes are still on a very nice 13-7-2 run over their last 22 games. When the mismatch between the pipes is this lopsided, it's a no-brainer to take back an inflated price like this. The Coyotes knowing Domingue inside and out makes it even sweeter. This is no different than taking Chris Archer +214 against the Yankees fifth starter. It must be done.
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Arizona +214 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.28)