Although the Philadelphia Flyers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference most members of the hockey community as well as the NHL betting public believe that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins are the actual beasts of the East. Tampa Bay is coming off a satisfying five game series revenge win over the pesky Columbus Blue Jackets while the Bruins dominated the solid Carolina Hurricanes, also in five games. Boston and Tampa Bay entered the NHL Hub of Toronto as the Eastern Conference co-favorites and nothing so far has changed that perception. The series between the Bruins and Lighting is rated as the most attractive of the NHL post season so far. Even casual and non-hockey fans will be drawn to this one!
Futures Odds Analysis
The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning opened as -110 pick’em choices for their best of seven Eastern Conference playoff series. Boston is a +550 choice to win the Stanley Cup and a +220 pick for the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay is a +440 Stanley Cup betting selection and is a +180 pick for the Eastern Conference title. Public betting money should be even for this series, at last in the initial stages. Both Tampa Bay and Boston carry considerable public respect. Live betting may increase based on the ebb and flow of an even series.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Series Schedule
Game 1: Sunday, August 23, 2020, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 2: Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 3: Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 4: Friday, August 28, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET, USA Network
Game 5: Sunday, August 30, 2020, TBD
Game 6: Tuesday, September 1, 2020, TBD
Game 7: Wednesday September 2, 2020, TBD
Series Price at BookMaker.eu
Boston Bruins -212
Tampa Bay Lightning +184
Head to Head Results
Tampa Bay has dominated Boston in their head to head series this year. The Lightning have won four of the five meetings for 2019-20 with three of the last four games between these teams going under the total.
Boston was the number one team for goals against this season while ranking ninth for goals scored, second for the power play, and third for penalty killing. Tamp Bay was the top scoring team in the NHL this season while ranking fifth for power play, eighth for goals against, and 14th for penalty killing.
Players to Watch
First it should be pointed out that two top players will not be watched in this series. Boston’s number one goaltender Tuukka Rask has opted out of the post season while Tampa Bay captain and center Steven Stamkos is out indefinitely with a lower body issue.
Boston’s top player in the regular season, RW David Pastrnak, has only one goal with three assists and a minus two so far. C David Krejci and LW Brad Marchant have picked up the slack with three goals each.
Tampa Bay has been paced by Brayden Point with five goals and five assists. RW Nikkita Kucherov has added two goals with seven assists and a plus two.
Between the Pipes
Jaroslav Halak has played well for Boston in place of Rask. Halak is 3-1 with a 2.29 goals against average and .912 save percentage.
Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy is 6-2 with a 1.98 goals against average and save percentage of .927.
NHL Odds Pick
Hockey in August has proven to be a smashing success with betting handle and TV ratings up. This series of two of the best teams in the NHL will only add to the excitement. Of great concern is the erratic performance of Pastrnak. He showed up unprepared and out of shape. Tampa Bay showed tremendous character in beating Columbus.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning
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