Montreal Canadiens (35-26-12) at Tampa Bay Lightning (49–20–6)
The Lighting throttled the Canadiens in the first game of this series and look to keep up their momentum to take a 2-0 series lead. This game can be seen on NBCSN.
No surprise that oddsmakers have the Lighting as major betting favorites in Game 2 posted at -205 with the Canadiens at +175.
The Canadiens have made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup playing great defense but that was not the case in the 5-1 Game 1 loss. The team had only given up three goals in their previous two games and they had only given up more than three goals once.
The Lighting blew up in Game 1 scoring five goals while they closed out the New York Islanders in the last series beating them 1-0. The squad was firing on all cylinders and can Montreal get back in the series by stopping their attack? Big question.
Tampa Bay has won 22 of their last 32 games after scoring at least five goals in their previous game.
Get Back to Defense
Montreal has to forget about the Game 1 loss and get back to playing good defense. They only gave up 27 shots in the game but only took 19 and they were 0/2 on the power play. The team was sloppy with the puck in the neutral zone and they cannot let that happen again.
Ben Chiarot scored the lone goal for the Canadiens in Game 1 and it was his first goal of the season.
Tyler Toffoli leads the club with 14 points in the playoffs and is one of four players with five goals. He has not lit the lamp in the last five games and while he does have two assists in that span both were in one game.
Carey Price (12-7-5 2.64 GAA) came into Game 1 with a playoff GAA of only 2.02 but he gave up five goals on only 27 shots. He is one of the main reasons his team is in the finals and he has to rebound and play well in Game 2 or Montreal will be in a 0-2 hole going home.
Montreal is without head coach Dominique Ducharme and forward Joel Armia, who has five goals in the post-season, as they are both on the COVID-19 protocol and will not be available until Game 3 at the earliest.
The Candiens have lost 13 of their last 19 games after giving up at least five goals in their previous game.
The Lighting got off to a great start in this series and also in Game 1 where they scored the first two goals. After Montreal cut it to a one-goal lead in the second period Tampa scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
Nikita Kucherov scored two goals in the blowout win and Erik Cernak, Yanni Gourde, and Steven Stamkos also tickled the twine.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (31-10-1 2.21 GAA) stopped 18 of 19 shots in the Game 1 win, has a GAA of 1.94 in the playoffs, and has only given up one goal in his last two starts.
Kucherov leads all players in points in the playoffs and with his two goal and one assist Game 1 he joined Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux as the only players to score at least 30 points in two consecutive post seasons.
Brayden Point leads all players in the playoffs with 14 goals and after scoring a goal in nine straight games he has not lit the lamp in the last two games but did have three assists in Game 1.
I don’t see the Canadiens getting crushed again but I also do not see them keeping up with the Tampa Bay attack. Tampa Bay was more than impressive in the Game 1 blowout and I look for them to impressive again in this game, especially on the defensive side of the ice. Look for them to score multiple goals again and keep up the stellar defensive play, as they will win convincingly and take a 2-0 series lead.
PICK: Lightning -205