Tampa Bay Lightning (54-27-8) at Montreal Canadiens (54-24-10)
|Date & Time||Friday May 1, 2015, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens / Tampa Bay Lightning --- Over/Under:
The Tampa Bay Lightning open up the second round with a trip to the Bell Centre to face the Montreal Canadiens.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will not only be looking to advance to the Eastern Conference finals but for revenge after Montreal easily disposed of them in the first round a year ago. Of course Ben Bishop was out and that hurt the Lightning in goal but he is ready to go this time around. Tampa Bay should have plenty of confidence based on the regular season where they outscored the Habs 21-8 on the way to a 5-0 record. However the Bolts struggled with the man advantage versus Detroit and Steven Stamkos who paced the team with 43 goals during the regular season did score in seven games against the Red Wings.
The Montreal Canadiens aren’t hard to figure out with the opposition looking to contain Max Pacioretty and PK Subban while trying to solve Carey Price but figuring them out and actually doing it are completely different animals. Having said that the Canadiens knocked off Ottawa in six games with each team scoring 12 times with the Habs winning two games in overtime with many believing the Senators had the upper hand in that series. Part of the problem was the power play was a total non factor and Pacioretty never found the scoring touch with two goals in six games with one coming on the empty net. The obvious keys for Montreal is to get production from the PP and hope Pacioretty and Subban explode offensively. Plan B? Hope Price can shutdown the high powered Lightning.
The under is 4-0 in Lightning last 4 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game and is 4-0-1 in Lightning last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game while going 4-0-1 in Lightning last 5 games following a win. The over is 5-0-2 in Canadiens last 7 home games and is 3-0-2 in Canadiens last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record while Montreal are 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest. The Lightning are 5-0 in the last 5 meetings while the over is 6-1-2 in the last 9 meetings and is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in Montreal. Looking at this closely after the Bolts dominated the regular season so please check back…