Tampa Bay Lightning (50-20-6) vs. Montreal Canadiens (36-27-12)
July 2, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Montreal Canadiens +133 / Tampa Bay Lightning -147; Over/Under: +5
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The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens meet Friday in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Centre Bell. The Lightning can all but put this series to bed with a victory and a 3-0 series lead. The Canadiens need a win to have any chance of winning this series.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are averaging 3.30 goals per game and are scoring on 35.6 percent of their power play opportunities. Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay with 14 goals, Nikita Kucherov has 23 assists and Victor Hedman has 46 shots on goal. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Lightning are allowing 1.95 goals per game and are killing 82.8 percent of their opponents power plays. Andrei Vasilevskiy has given up 38 goals on 621 shots faced.
The Montreal Canadiens are averaging 2.37 goals per game and are scoring on 20.8 percent of their power play opportunities. Nick Suzuki leads Montreal with six goals, Tyler Toffoli has nine assists and Brendan Gallagher has 46 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens are allowing 2.37 goals per game and are killing 92.3 percent of their opponents power plays. Carey Price has given up 43 goals on 580 shots faced.
The Lightning are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a road favorite and 94-43 in their last 137 overall. The Canadiens are 5-1 in their last 6 home games and 11-4 in their last 15 overall. The under is 10-4-2 in Lightning last 16 overall. The under is 4-1-4 in Canadiens last 9 overall. The Lightning are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Montreal and 14-3 in the last 17 meetings. The favorite is 19-7 in the last 26 meetings.
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This series has not been kind to the Canadiens, as they’ve been blown out and badly outplayed in the first two games. The Lightning should be favored in this game and probably close this thing out early if the trends continue. However, we know the Habs have been an underdog these entire playoffs and they find ways to win time and time again. We’ve also seen the Canadiens bounce back nicely from losses and they were down 1-3 to the Maple Leafs. If Montreal has a chance here, this is a must-win game. Give me the plus money and the home team.