Boston Bruins (55-23-12) at Tampa Bay Lightning (58-25-5)
|Date & Time||Monday April 30, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -180 / Boston Bruins +138 --- Over/Under: 6
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Boston Bruins look to steal the first two games of their Atlantic division championship series with the Tampa Bay Lightning as the two sides meet up in Florida on Monday.
The Bruins played a textbook road game to open the series against the well rested Lightning who were a step behind all day long in their 6-2 drubbing by Boston, and now the B’s can head home with a 2-0 series lead if they can follow suit with another strong effort on Monday. Boston has one of the deepest teams in the NHL and while they were pushed to seven games in the opening round against their bitter rivals from Toronto, they are looking like a Cup threat heading into the second round against a Lightning side with a ton of skill. Boston has received some big efforts from unlikely sources so far and that is the recipe for success in the postseason but one of their main stays in David Pastrnak has been among the best from any team in these playoffs and Boston may be hinged on how far the young forward can take them. Tuukka Rask is expected to get the nod here as he will face off against Andrei Vasilevskiy who certainly didn’t look the part of a Vezina candidate in game one.
The Lightning drew a favourable matchup in the opening round as they faced off against the New Jersey Devils and made very quick work of them to boot, but now they face a rough and rugged Boston side that knows how to win in the playoffs and plays a very different than Tampa’s first round opponent. The Bolts have a ton of offensive fire power led by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov and have one of the league’s best defenseman in Victor Hedman but they have really fallen off in terms of the puck out of their net and the young Russian netminder who is among the finalists as this season’s top goaltender has shown flashes of weakness over the last month of the season, and again in the series opener against Boston.
The Bruins are 23-10 in their last 33 against the Atlantic and 2-6 in their last eight road games while the Bolts are 7-3 in their last 10 against the East and 1-6 in their last seven meetings at home against the Bruins. Boston is the deeper team here and are getting a ridiculous price and with history on their side in this series I like them to get it done once again.