Tampa Bay Lightning (46-27-9) at Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday April 20, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -160 / Tampa Bay Lightning +145 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Canadiens look to take a stranglehold on the Lightning in a pivotal game three as the series shifts back to Montreal.
The Lightning held a player’s only meeting following their 4-1 loss on home ice in game two on Friday night in an attempt to get themselves back into their series with the Canadiens. Tampa dropped both games on home ice to start the series and now have to go into Montreal and win back to back contests just to draw even and the Bolts know it is going to be a very tough task. Montreal is one of the craziest hockey markets in the world and have one of the loudest home arenas in the NHL which should make it very difficult to generate any momentum thanks to a deafening and momentum generating atmosphere in the Bell Center. The loss of Ben Bishop to me essentially ended this series before it started and while Tampa played well in the first game of the series and lost out on a Dale Weise overtime marker they were completed dominated in game two and face a huge uphill climb from here on out.
The Canadiens were the favourites heading into this series despite having to start on the road and being the lower seed but on paper they are the deeper team and the goaltending matchup isn’t even close. Carey Price has been remarkable in the first two contests and he deserved a better fate in a game two masterpiece as a garbage time goal spoiled his shutout but not his confidence. The Canadian national who backstopped his country to a gold medal in Sochi is looking for another prize to add to his mantle and you can be sure winning the Stanley Cup would be a lifelong dream come true for the British Columbia native. As mentioned, Montreal is a very energetic and raucous place to play and with this being on a Sunday and the first playoff action of the year for the Habs’ faithful I think the Bell Centre will be rocking and make a difference in the game. I think this could very well end in Montreal with a four game sweep and I like the home side here in a big way.