After coming up short in their bid to sweep the Montreal Canadiens, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to finish off the Habs when they meet in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning
When: Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
TV: NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Radio: 970 WFLA, TSN 690 – 98.5FM
Tampa Bay -240
Montreal +1½ (-135)
Tampa Bay -1½ (+115)
Score in First 9½ Minutes
Analysis: Tampa Bay lit the lamp at the 6:19 mark in Game 1 and the 1:52 mark in Game 3 after no first-period goals were scored in Game 2. Montreal scored at the 15:39 mark in Game 4, but with Tampa Bay fired up by what will surely be a raucous home crowd in Game 5, I’m expecting someone on Tampa Bay’s loaded roster to light the lamp inside the 9½-minute mark in Game 5 to pull off this feat for the third time in five games.
Race to Two Goals
Tampa Bay Lightning -175
Analysis: Simply put, I like Tampa Bay to send an early message that they are not going to lose this close-out contest by getting two goals first in Game 5. While Montreal has scored an identical three goals in each of the last two games, I suspect the Habs might not put two goals on the scoreboard in Game 5 against superstar netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. With that said, I’m going to encourage NHL lines everywhere to drop a few bucks on Tampa Bay to win the race to three goals as a -115 favorite as well.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning by 2 +425
Lightning by 3 +550
Analysis: Tampa Bay dominated the Stanley Cup Final opener to win Game 1 by a whopping four goals (5-1). The Lightning then took Game 2 by the score of 3-1 and Game 3 by three goals (6-3). The defending champs lost Game 4 in overtime 3-2, but I’m completely expecting Tampa Bay to win Game 5 by at least two goals as a value-packed +425 pick. Hell, dropping some cash on the Lightning to close this series out by three goals as a +550 pick is a good idea as well if you ask me. Either way, I like Tampa Bay to cover the puck line by winning Game 5 by at least two goals.