Montreal Canadiens (36-25-12) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (48-20-6)
June 28, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -208 / Montreal Canadiens +175; Over/Under: -5.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning meet Monday in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Amalie Arena. The Canadiens are coming off a six-game series with the Golden Knights. The Lightning are fresh off a seven-game series with the Islanders.
The Montreal Canadiens are averaging 2.53 goals per game and are scoring on 20.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Tyler Toffoli leads Montreal with five goals, Nick Suzuki has eight assists and Brendan Gallagher has 42 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens are allowing 2.18 goals per game and are killing 93.5 percent of their opponents power plays. Carey Price has given up 35 goals on 530 shots faced.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging 3.22 goals per game and are scoring on 37.7 percent of their power play opportunities. Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay with 14 goals, Nikita Kucherov has 22 assists and Victor Hedman has 43 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing 2.06 goals per game and are killing 83 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 36 goals on 559 shots faced.
The Canadiens are 6-1 in their last 7 road games and 11-2 in their last 13 overall. The Lightning are 48-19 in their last 67 home games and 92-43 in their last 135 overall. The under is 3-0-4 in Canadiens last 7 overall. The under is 9-3-2 in Lightning last 14 overall. The Canadiens are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings in Tampa Bay and 0-4 in the last 4 meetings. The home team is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. The favorite is 14-3 in the last 17 meetings.
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The Lightning should be the favorite, as they’re the better team on paper, they’re at home and they’ve won four straight games against the Habs and nine of the last 10 meetings overall. However, this isn’t a road we haven’t been down before in these playoffs. The Canadiens have been underdogs in every playoff series and they keep finding ways to win. We’ve been backing the Canadiens in the underdog role all playoffs and it’s paid off. Heck, the Canadiens were one of the biggest series underdogs in conference finals history against Vegas and they prevailed. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Give me the Canadiens and the big plus money.