An unforgettable NHL season will culminate over the next couple of weeks with the Stanley Cup Final. In this odd year and format, perhaps it is only fitting to have one of the most unlikely Stanley Cup matchups. The Montreal Canadiens finished the regular season just three games over .500. Nonetheless, they made their way through the postseason bracket and into their first Cup Final since 2011. They will take on the defending champion Lightning. Unsurprisingly, the NHL betting odds have declared Tampa Bay a sizable pre-series favorite. After reviewing the NHL odds, we will break down the entire series and find some expert NHL betting picks for this series.
Canadiens vs. Lighting: NHL Betting Preview
This Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL betting series preview will explore the best NHL betting odds, provide some key betting trends, and offer the top NHL betting picks and predictions for this Stanley Cup Final matchup.
Canadiens vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Final Info
Game 1: Monday, June 28, 8 ET
Game 2: Wednesday, June 30, 8 ET
Game 3: Friday, July 2, 8 ET
Game 4: Monday, July 5, 8 ET
*Game 5: Wednesday, July 7, 8 ET
*Game 6: Friday, July 9, 8 ET
*Game 7: Sunday, July 11, 7 ET
* If necessary
Canadiens vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Final NHL Betting Odds
The following odds for the Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL Stanley Cup Final are from PointsBet.
Series Winner: MTL: (+225) | TB: (-275)
Series Total Games
- 4 Games (+450)
- 5 Games (+245)
- 6 Games (+200)
- 7 Games: (+225)
Series Correct Score
- 4-0 (+600)
- 4-1 (+325)
- 4-2 (+350)
- 4-3 (+400)
- 4-0 (+2500)
- 4-1 (+1200)
- 4-2 (+700)
- 4-3 (+600)
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Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL Playoffs Preview
It is hard to believe that the Canadiens were on the brink of elimination just a few short weeks ago. After grabbing the final spot in this year’s postseason, Montreal fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Maple Leafs. They completed an epic comeback to win in seven games and haven’t looked back. The Canadiens swept the Jets in Round 2 before taking down the mighty Vegas Golden Knights in the semifinal round. Montreal finished with the fewest regular-season points of any of the 16 playoff teams. Against all odds, they are now set to play for the Stanley Cup.
One interesting component to the Canadiens’ playoff run has been the multitude of ways in which they have won games. Goaltender Carey Price deserves a ton of credit. He has been on fire really ever since the team began its first-round comeback against Toronto. Price was particularly dominant in the second-round sweep and made life miserable for the loaded Golden Knights roster as well. The Canadiens’ offense also woke up in the semifinal round. Although it was very much a team effort, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield had a particularly strong series against Vegas. Artturi Lehkonen proved to be the ultimate hero with his overtime winner in the series-clinching Game 6 triumph. Montreal is looking to become the first Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup since 1993.
As if their 2020 Stanley Cup Final victory needed any legitimization, the Lightning are back for another go-around. Tampa Bay finished third in the regular-season standings in the Central Division. They proved their mettle by knocking off both the Panthers and Hurricanes in the first two rounds. A semifinal rematch against the Islanders proved to be their toughest test to date, but the Lightning prevailed in seven games. Now the only thing standing between the favored Lightning and their second consecutive Stanley Cup is a Cinderella Canadiens squad.
Speaking of superb playoff goaltending, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy has been unflappable. He was picture perfect in the team’s 1-0 Game 7 win over the Islanders. In fact, Vasilevskiy became the first goalie to pitch a shutout in three series-clinching games in a single postseason. If anyone can cool off the hot Canadiens offense, it’s him. The Lightning will have an advantage when it comes to size and physicality. The roster is absolutely littered with playmakers. No skater has had a better postseason than Brayden Point, who put together a remarkable nine-game goal streak spanning two postseason rounds. Anthony Cirelli netted the only goal of the Game 7 victory, one that came while Tampa was short-handed, no less.
Canadiens vs. Lightning NHL Betting Trends
- Canadiens are 11-2 straight up in their last 13 games.
- Lightning are 9-4 straight up in their last 13 games.
- Lightning are 4-1 straight up in their last five home games.
- The total has gone under in seven of the Canadiens’ last eight games played on Monday.
- Canadiens are just 1-9 straight up in their last 10 head-to-head matchups against the Lightning.
- Lightning are 6-0 in their last six head-to-head matchups against the Canadiens in Tampa Bay.
Canadiens vs. Lightning Prediction
For as great and improbable of a postseason run as this has been for the Canadiens, this Stanley Cup Final matchup is their toughest task to date. The two teams never met this season with the NHL’s inter-division schedule. Montreal passed their first test in such a scenario last round against Vegas. Even so, they got bullied around for large portions of that series. It will take an other-worldly performance from Carey Price for the Canadiens to score an upset. Unfortunately, the Lightning have their own star goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Assuming the net advantage gets negated, Tampa Bay’s size and talent will simply be too much for Montreal to hold up in a best-of-seven series.
Stanley Cup Final NHL Pick: Lightning 4, Canadiens 2
Canadiens vs. Lightning Stanley Cup Final Best Bet
Series Correct Score After Three Games: Lightning 2-1 (+105)
It would take a lack of focus on the part of the Lightning to be trailing in this series after three games. Tampa Bay is the bigger, stronger and more talented team in this matchup. The Canadiens are a young, inexperienced group that has truly caught lightning in a bottle (pun possibly intended) and ridden their hot goaltender to this point. Given that the two sides haven’t clashed all year, it’s conceivable Montreal can steal Game 1 or get one back when the series shifts north of the border for Games 3 and 4. Unless this gets completely out of hand, the Lightning should hold a 2-1 advantage after three games. The +105 odds on this NHL betting pick offer a better return than betting Tampa -140 on the series handicap.
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