For the first two periods and change, Game 1 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final was neck and neck. That all changed in the final frame. The Tampa Bay Lightning tallied a trio of third period goals to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1. Heavy NHL betting favorites coming into the series, it was a great start for the Lightning. Can the Canadiens bounce back on the road in tonight’s Game 2, or will Tampa inch closer to their second consecutive championship? This Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL betting picks preview will explore the best NHL betting odds, provide some key betting trends and offer the top NHL picks and predictions for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Canadiens vs. Lightning Betting Preview: NHL Picks
Canadiens vs. Lightning Game Info
Montreal Canadiens (24-21-11, 59 pts) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-3, 75 pts)
Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Start Time: 8 p.m. EST
Venue: Amalie Arena — Tampa, Fla.
In a lot of ways, Game 1 wasn’t a huge surprise for many NHL betting analysts. The Canadiens were massive underdogs and simply looked overwhelmed for long stretches in Monday’s series opener. The Lightning chipped away at Montreal’s defense and goaltender Carey Price. His .815 save percentage in Game 1 was easily one of his worst showings of the NHL playoffs to date. Even the lone Canadiens goal took a couple of fortunate bounces. Ben Chiarot was the only skater to score in what was a stark contrast to the offensive display the Habs put on in the semifinal round. Tampa Bay’s physicality won out in Game 1. The Canadiens will look to respond after getting punched in the mouth tonight.
The Lightning took the lead with a goal just over six minutes into the first period and never looked back. Although they only held a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes, the Lightning piled on in the final frame. Nikita Kucherov had two goals and an assist in the third period. Although center Brayden Point didn’t find the back of the net as he seemingly has in every other game this postseason, he was making plays all over the ice. His final box score line included a trio of assists. Erik Cernak, Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos notched the other three Lightning goals. Keeper Andrei Vasilevskiy outdueled Price in Game 1, finishing with a .947 save percentage. That said, he was considerably less busy and only faced 19 shots.
[osBestBetsSingleGameOdds league=”nhl” date=”06/30/2021″ team=”canadiens”]
Canadiens vs. Lightning Betting NHL Picks + NHL Odds Shopping
Using Awesemo’s OddsShopper Tool, we can easily compare the NHL odds for Canadiens vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Final betting across the major sportsbooks. The odds outlined above are from 12 p.m. ET on June 30, so make sure to check out the OddsShopper tool yourself to get the most up-to-date odds.
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Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL Betting Trends
- Canadiens are 4-0 straight up in their last four games after scoring two goals or fewer in their previous game.
- Lightning are 5-1 straight up in their last six Stanley Cup Final games.
- Lightning 15-6 in their last 21 playoff games as an NHL betting favorite.
- Under is 6-0-2 in the Canadiens’ last eight games when their opponent tallies five goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 7-1-2 in the Lightning’s last 10 games following an outright win.
- Lightning are 13-3 straight up in their last 16 head-to-head matchups against the Canadiens.
Canadiens vs. Lightning Prediction
The size and strength of the Lightning were on full display in Game 1. One has to believe that the Canadiens will have a response tonight. That said, this is probably the toughest and most talented team that Montreal has faced on their Cinderella run through the postseason. There is a reason the Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Price will probably need to stand on his head for the Habs to pull out a road upset. Those 19 shots on goal won’t cut it either. There were notably some costly mistakes that led to a couple of goals on Monday night. Assuming a cleaner game, it’s hard to bet against Price and Vasilevskiy controlling the action tonight.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-152)
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