The Detroit Red Wings get their 2021 season underway on Thursday night, hoping for better things than last year’s 19-27-10 record that landed them in 7th in the eight-team Central division. The Red Wings will find out how they stack up right out of the gate when the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning come to Little Caesars Arena.
TB’s quest for the three-peat didn’t start off very well in a 6-2 home loss on Tuesday against Pittsburgh. There was a lot of distractions with a banner-raising ceremony and just a celebration of the Lightning’s success the last couple of seasons so maybe getting on the road is what the Lightning need.
Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Preview: Back to the Grind
Tampa Bay got a wake-up call from Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, and the Penguins got the season-opening win, even playing without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Both teams started off rusty with a scoreless 1st period, but the Penguins eventually turned it on, taking a 3-0 lead by the 3rd period.
The Lightning allowed six goals in the series opener, but at the same time, three of those came when Andrei Vasilevskiy was pulled for the man advantage. Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 32 Penguins shots on Tuesday but also gets a Red Wings team that scored the second-fewest goals in the league last season behind Arizona.
Detroit Red Wings Betting Preview: Health a Concern Already
Detroit had a lot of issues last year, including a lack of talent, but they also struggled keeping the players they did have on the ice. Tyler Bertuzzi played just nine games last season after back surgery, Robby Fabbri was around for only 30 games due to a knee injury, and Dylan Larkin suffered a neck injury that sidelined him late in the year.
While Larkin and company should be healthy for the season opener, Detroit is missing Jakub Vrana, who could be out up to four months following shoulder surgery. Vrana was the Red Wings leading scorer last season, netting 19 goals and scoring 36 points in 50 games.
Lightning vs. Red Wings Betting Odds & Lines
BetOnline has Tampa Bay as -215 favorites, so they like them a lot for the bounce-back game. Is that price too high, though, for the way the Lightning played at home in their season opener?
Speaking of season openers, Tuesday marks the first time Detroit plays in front of their fans since the 19/20 season. Some clubs around the NHL opened capacity up towards the end of last year and into the playoffs, but Michigan allowed no fans in attendance. 19,000+ rocking fans do give the Red Wings some value at +193.
Free Betting Pick
A majority of the betting public is going to be on Tampa Bay in this one because the champs don’t lose consecutive games, right? In fact, this could be the time to make an investment against the Lightning early in the season because this is a team coming off two deep postseason runs.
It always makes the BPM’s go up when taking the Red Wings, but they should get a little extra boost with the crowd back in the seats.