Tampa Bay Lightning (51–20–6) at Montreal Canadiens (35-28-12)
To say the Lightning have dominated this Stanley Cup finals’ series would be an understatement and they can go for the sweep North of the Border in Game 4. This game can be seen on NBC.
Once again, the Lighting are the betting favorite, as in Game 4 even on the road they are posted at -165 with the Canadiens at +145 and a total of five goals.
In Game 3 of this series the Lightning struck with a 6-3 win, which was the second game of this series they scored at least five goals. In the series they have outscored Montreal 14-5 and in the last game Tampa did give up three goals while they had only given up two in their previous three games.
The Canadiens are the Cinderella story in these playoffs but she has left the building in this series. They scored three goals in the last game after only scoring one in the first two games and were still throttled.
The defending champion Lightning have won 26 of their last 36 playoff games as a favorite.
One More to Go
The Lightning only need one more win to defend their Stanley Cup title and in the last game they got off to a great start scoring two goals in the first 3:27 and had a 4-1 lead early in the second period.
In the 6-3 Game 3 win Taylor Johnson scored twice, four other players lit the lamp, and Ondrej Palat had two assists. Tampa had fewer shots in the game (35-30) for the second straight game and converted on their only power-play opportunity.
Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up three goals on 35 shots and he had only allowed two goals in his previous three starts. He has started every game in the post-season for the Lightning and has a playoff GAA of only 1.94.
Ok, so the Lighting have played more playoffs games advancing the finals but they have the top five players in points and the top four players in goals. Nikita Kucherov leads all players in the post-season with 32 points and he had a goal and an assist in the last game. Brayden Point leads all players with 14 goals, the next leading player has eight goals, and he has not even scored in this series.
Tampa Bay had lost two straight road games before the blowout win over Montreal in Game 3.
One Last Chance
The Canadiens have their backs against the Wall in this game and not one in the series has been close. The closest game was in Game 2 losing 3-1 and they have been outscored 9-4 in losing the last two games where they outshot the Lighting 78-53.
Phillip Danault, Nick Suzuki, and Corey Perry all scored in the losing effort in Game 3
One of the main reasons the Canadiens reached the finals was the play of goalie Carey Price. He only has a 2.02 GAA in the first three rounds of the playoffs but has been lit up this series giving up 13 goals on 79 shots. He has seen all the action in goal for the playoffs and has struggled in this series, big time.
Suzuki has scored a goal in the last two games and has three over his last five but has not gotten much help. The Canadiens have only scored five goals in this series and are only averaging 2.40 goals per game in the post-season.
Montreal is 0-4 in their last 4 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
The Lighting have dominated this series and I do not see that changing in Game 4. The Canadiens scored a series high three goals in the last game and were still doubled up in the bad loss. Tampa Bay is on fire and they will not take their gas of the pedal in Game 4. They will get it done on both sides of the ice again while the Canadiens will not be able to stop them. Get out the broom, as Tampa Bay will win Game 4 and sweep the series for their second straight Stanley Cup title.
PICK: Lightning -140