Tampa Bay Lightning (50–20–6) at Montreal Canadiens (35-27-12)
The Lightning have a 2-0 lead in this series after winning Game 2 and now they head north of the border to take on the Canadiens in Game 3. This Stanley Cup finals game can be seen on NBC.
Oddsmakers have the Lightning as a road favorite in Game 3 posted at -140 with the Canadiens at +120 and a total of 5 goals.
After winning the first game of this series 5-1 Tampa Bay continued their stellar D in this series beating Montreal 3-1. The Lightning have not only given up one goal in each of the two games of this series but they have only given up two goals in their last three games.
The Canadiens played much better in Game 2, as they outshot the Lightning 43-23 and stopped all three power play chances but still lost. They are now back at home where they have won five of their last six games.
The Lightning were the big home favorite in the first two games of this series and in the last 26 games between these teams the favorite has won 19 times.
Vasilevskiy is the Star
While the Lightning looked like they were outplayed for much of the game Andrei Vasilevskiy (31-10-1 2.21 GAA regular season) saved the day stopping 42 of 43 shots. He has a playoff GAA of 1.89 and he has only allowed two goals in the last three games.
In the Game 2 win Anthony Cirelli, Blake Coleman, and Ondrej Palat each lit the lamp and Coleman scored the eventual game-winner with only two seconds left in the second period and that took some of the wind out of the sails for the Canadiens.
Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point lead the playoffs in points and goals, respectively, but neither registered a point in Game 2. Palat and Coleman each have a goal and an assist in the series.
Dating back to last season the defending champion Lightning have won six of their last seven Stanley Cup finals game.
The Pressure is There, But the Goals are Not
After only taking 19 shots in the bad 5-1 loss in Game 1 the Canadiens applied the pressure in Game 2 with 43 shots but still only scored one goal. They had their chances and Nick Suzuki scored the lone goal unassisted.
Montreal has given up eight goals in the two games in this series while in their previous two games they only gave up three goals.
The Canadiens’ attack has been flat in this series and for the playoffs they are only averaging 2.37 goals per game.
Suzuki leads Montreal with six goals in the post-season and has two goals and two assists in his last four games. Tyler Toffoli is tied with Suzuki with 14 points and he has failed to register a point in five of his last six games including the last three.
The Canadiens had their chances in Game 2 nearly doubling up the Lighting in total shots but still only scored one goal for the second straight game. I do not see Tampa being outshot or outplayed again and that is not good for Montreal. Even on the road the Lightning will continue to play great defense, and I see this game playing out like the last one in a lower scoring game that Tampa will win taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
PICK: Lightning -140