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Can the Los Angeles Kings upset the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL?

The two teams at the opposite end of the NHL form table meet on Tuesday night, but can the Los Angeles Kings cause the upset of the season against Tampa Bay Lightning?

You have to go all the way back to 2004 for the last time that Tampa Bay Lightning last won the Stanley Cup, but the Florida-based side have put themselves in the best possible frame of mind to end that wait. A total of 47 wins have come from their 62 outings this season, and the Bolts hold a 15-point advantage over their nearest challengers. There are still several months until the next champions are crowned and Tampa Bay will have to successfully come through the playoff system in order to get their hands on the trophy, but the challenges will continue to come and next in line is the lowly Los Angeles Kings, with it being perceived that they face the impossible task of getting anything from the leaders.

When you consider your NHL betting odds over the next couple of days, you will most likely be focusing your attention on the margin of victory rather than Tampa Bay simply prevailing in front of their home supporters. They are currently on an eight-match winning streak and have scored at least five times in at least half of those games, but the Lightning were made to work in their last outing and only emerged victorious by a 2-1 scoreline against mid-table Buffalo Sabres. Head coach Jon Cooper will point to the fact that the win was the most important thing, but there is at least some doubt over whether the Lightning will run riot on Monday night.

NHL team Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2019.© Reuters

Tampa Bay have suffered just two defeats in 32 matches at the Amalie Arena and we cannot see the Kings inflicting a third, but we do not see this necessarily being one-way traffic. Los Angeles find themselves on a six-match losing streak ahead of their weekend encounter with the Florida Panthers, but each of those defeats have come by a narrow margin and there have been few signs that the Kings are losing confidence with each outing. That may change if they under-perform in a winnable game against the Panthers, but a victory will ease any pressure which they will be putting on themselves ahead of the trip to the East Coast.

Another thing to note is that Los Angeles have tightened up their defence in recent fixtures. Eleven goals were shipped in the space of two matches earlier in the month, but just five have been conceded in their last two outings. Running the highly-ranked Nashville Predators close on Thursday was a hugely-impressive effort, and it showed that sitting in 30th place out of 31 teams can currently be perceived as a false position. We are backing Tampa Bay Lightning to win by a two-goal margin - and perhaps by a 3-1 scoreline - and those are the two bets which you should be considering ahead of Monday's showdown.

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Ben O'Connor #17 of Great Britain skates while Roberto Gliga #20 of Romania chases during the Ice Hockey Sochi Olympic Pre-Qualification Group J match between Romania and Great Britain at Nikko Kirifuri Ice Arena on November 10, 2012
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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