The Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to yet another easy victory in Game 3, winning 6-3 in Montreal and putting a stranglehold on the Canadiens. Tampa Bay has outscored Montreal 15-5 and leads 3-0. Heading into Game 4, Montreal hopes to at least avoid getting swept. Are they even worth a dart throw with your NHL picks or are the Lightning going to close this thing out? Let’s take a closer look.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens
Date: Monday, July 5, 2021 – 8 PM ET
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
NHL Odds: Lightning -145
Tampa Bay Lightning
The reigning champions are continuing to show why they are the best team in the NHL. Not only is their defense anchored by one of the best goalies in the game, but their offense is also equally dominant.
Starting at the back, Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up right where he left off in Game 3, stopping 32 of 35 shots to walk away with a strong .914 save percentage. However, he wasn’t the story. Tampa Bay knocked in six goals, with Tyler Johnson scoring two after being moved up from the fourth line (due to the injury to Alex Killorn). The Canadiens outshot Tampa Bay 43-23 in Game 2 but the Lightning snuffed that out in Game 3 as they took it to the Habs. They again scored the first goal – the third time they’ve done that – and didn’t trail for a single second. As a matter of fact, they’ve yet to trail in this entire series.
Only once has a team rallied from an 0-3 deficit in the Stanley Cup final and that was in 1942. If Tampa Bay doesn’t fall asleep, it should end this in Game 4.
Montreal didn’t have a poor game offensively in Game 3 but defense killed the Canadiens. In a must-win situation, they just didn’t come out with enough intensity and momentum to turn the tides in their favor though they were at home. Carey Price was blitzed in the net once again, as he stopped 24 shots on the net for a .828 save percentage. That’s completely unacceptable. Montreal actually scored in every period of the game though to keep things as close as they could and it was the first time this series they scored more than a goal in a game. However, the problem was that the Lightning scored twice every period to always keep them far enough away.
The Canadiens have had a miracle type of season as they stormed their way through the NHL postseason to make it up to this point. They even dug out of a 3-1 hole against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round. However, they are just being thrashed around right now and have shown no signs of improvement over the first three games against Tampa Bay.