NHL Odds: White-Hot Lightning Face Oilers on Thursday There’s no team that’s hotter than the Tampa Bay Lightning right now. After a sluggish start that had many pundits questioning whether Tampa would be able to bounce back from an early playoff exit last year, they’ve gone on a tear in the second half of the season. At press, they sit just one point back of the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the NHL, and they’ve won eight games in a row and nine of their last 10. This Thursday, they’ll welcome the Edmonton Oilers to town.

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It’s been much of the same recipe that led to so much success for the Lightning last season. They’re fourth in goals scored per game (3.53), with Nikita Kucherov (27 goals, 43 assists) leading the offensive charge. He had an early exit on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. It’ll be critical for the Oilers to bring their best defensive game on Thursday, as they’ll be without captain Connor McDavid. They’ve not been great in their own end this season, surrendering 3.11 goals against per game, but they’ve held opponents to three goals or fewer in each of their last two games, going 2-0 during that stretch. Thursday’s contest will begin at 7 PM ET.