Detroit (25-16-8) at Tampa Bay (27-18-4)
When: Wednesday, February 3rd 2016
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports
Two teams with great Januarys will look to get back to their winning ways as the Detroit Red Wings visit the Tampa Bay Lightning in each team’s first game back from the All-Star Break. Rookie Dylan Larkin has quite an experience in his first All-Star appearance in which he won the fastest skater event in the Skills Competition. Larkin has 15 goals and 33 points and is one of the top contenders to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. The Red Wings finished January 7-3-1 after defeating the NY Islanders last Monday night 4-2. Larkin notched three points in three games before the break and is tied with captain Henrik Zetterberg (9 goals, 33 points) for the team lead in scoring. Pavel Datsyuk is starting to heat up after missing the first part of the season on injured reserve. He has nine points in his last nine games with a plus-6 rating in that span. Two players that are not hot are Tomas Tatar (14 goals, 28 points) and Gustav Nyquist (13 goals, 26 points). Tatar has just one point in his last five games, while Nyquist has registered a point in just two of the last ten games. Petr Mrazek (18-9-4, 2.03 GAA), who had a very nice first half, will likely get the start in net tonight.
The Lightning will be looking to continue their hot run and also break a second place tie with the Red Wings in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay had a terrific 9-2-0 month and ended the break with a 1-0 shutout of Toronto. Captain Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning with 21 goals and is three shy of 300 for his career, but its Nikita Kucherov who leads the Lightning with 41 points – three better than Stamkos. Kucherov has recorded at least one point in 16 of his last 18 games. Ondrej Palat (4 goals, 13 points) and Vladislav Namestnikov (10 goals, 25 points) played on a line with Stamkos most of last month while Alex Killorn (8 goals, 23 points) and Tyler Johnson (5 goals, 16 points) are teaming with Kucherov. D Victor Hedman (4 goals) has recorded 10 points in his last nine games and ranks third on the team with 28. Over the last five games, Tampa Bay has killed off 18-of-19 power plays. Ben Bishop (19 wins, 2.02 GAA), who played in the All-Star Game along with Stamkos, is expected to start in goal tonight.
Detroit is playing very well on the road lately and they looked really good at the Islanders in their last game. I’ll take the underdog Red Wings again tonight.
Fantasy Picks for Tonight: Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Ondrej Palat
Pick: Red Wings +145