The Tampa Bay Lightning begin the defense of their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2021-22 NHL season opener on Tuesday. The contest at Amalie Arena is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay is a -240 favorite (risk $240 to win $100) in the latest Lightning vs. Penguins odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total goals is set at six (see up-to-date odds for every game on our NHL odds page).
Before you make any Penguins vs. Lightning picks or any other NHL predictions, you NEED to see which side SportsLine's No. 1 NHL expert Matt Severance is on.
Severance is a well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005. He dominated the NHL last season by going a whopping 158-104 on his money-line picks, returning over $1,400 for the $100 bettor. You MUST check out what he has to say.
Severance knows Tampa Bay dominated the NHL during the last full 82-game season in 2018-19, earning a franchise-record 128 points - 21 more than its closest competitors and four shy of the all-time record set by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. The Lightning have a top-flight goaltender in former Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, who led the league last season with 31 wins and captured the Conn Smythe Trophy after helping guide the team to its second straight championship. Tampa Bay's lineup again will include former Hart Trophy recipient Nikita Kucherov, who missed the entire 2020-21 regular season following hip surgery but returned to lead the NHL in scoring during the playoffs with 32 points in 23 games.
He also knows Pittsburgh will begin the 2021-22 season without its two veteran superstars, as captain Sidney Crosby recovers from wrist surgery and Evgeni Malkin heals from knee surgery. A two-time Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, the 34-year-old Crosby may only miss the first week of the campaign, but the 35-year-old Malkin - who has captured the Art Ross twice and Hart once - is expected to be sidelined at least two months. The Penguins hope some of the missing offense will be supplied by Jeff Carter, a 36-year-old center who has scored 21 or more goals 11 times in his career.
Now, Severance has locked in confident picks for Lightning vs. Penguins. We can tell you he's leaning Under the total, but he knows a crucial X-factor makes one side of the money line a MUST-BACK! You ABSOLUTELY need to see what it is before locking in any picks of your own.
Who wins Lightning vs. Penguins? And which crucial X-factor makes one side of the money line hit HARD? ... Join SportsLine right now to see which side of the Penguins vs. Lightning money line to jump on, all from the expert who was an outstanding 158-104 on NHL picks last season!