Montreal Canadiens (43-19-7) at Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-7)
|Date & Time||Monday March 16, 2015, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -141 / Montreal Canadiens +128 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The Lightning and Canadiens meet up in Tampa on Monday in a bttle of Atlantic division foes jockeying for the division crown.
The Montreal Canadiens head into Tampa on Monday for their biggest game of the season to date as the two sides battle for the right to sit atop the Atlantic division and a win here would go al ong way in determining who that will be at season's end. Montreal is coming off an impressive victory in which Carey Price cemented himself once again as the best goaltender in the league and if he can continue his strong play not only tonight but into the postseason there will be very few teams who will be able to stop Montreal and they could very well claim their 25th Stanley Cup in NHL history. The Habs are two points up on Tampa and have a game in hand so the Bolts know full well that if they want to lay claim to the top seed in the East they'll have to take down Montreal in this one.
Tampa has been a very impressive group this season and while they were swept by these Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs last year you could tell that the emerging stars on their roster would be lined up for a successful run this year. The Bolts have had incredible seasons from Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos and with Ben Bishop providing some key stops in the Tampa crease the team sits in second place in the Eastern Conference in goal differential at +44 and are just five points shy of the Rangers for the best mark in the league in that regard. I am a big fan of Price and think he is a shoe in for the Vezina and possibly for the Hart and while no team is safe when Price is at the other end I do think this spot for Tampa is an absolute must win and while I don't like the odds I think that's the best we can do here.