The Montreal Canadiens have already beaten three heavy favorites to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Consider that the most impressive by Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge was over a Vegas Golden Knights team favored at -550. Montreal fears nothing nor anyone. And with Carey Price in goal, they can beat anyone they play. However, Monday's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was a stark reality check. The Tampa Bay Lightning are in a class by themselves. Tampa Bay lit up the Habs and Price in an impressive 5-1 win.
Game 2 Of the best of seven series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. This game will be broadcast live on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET. We'll have NHL Stanley Cup odds and player props available at Bookmaker.eu for this and every game going on tonight's NHL playoff slate.
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Public reaction to Tampa Bay's Game 1 win shows in the price. Further, the Lightning are defending Stanley Cup champions and a regular contender. Since 2015, this is the third Stanley Cup Final for the Bolts. Montreal carries a massive and generational fanbase. Specifically, the Habs are known as "The Yankees of Hockey." Montreal is the NHL's most historic franchise and has a record 24 Stanley Cup championships. Such tradition carries a lot of cache with older fans on both sides of the border.
Naturally, squares will flood the betting window with cash on the power home favorite. It's what they do. Meanwhile, there is no way the Wise Guys are going to lay -215 on Tampa Bay. Especially against Carey Price. Price wasn't sharp in Game 1. But it's hard for sharps to believe he'll have two consecutive bad games. Also, keep in mind that after Tampa Bay skunked the New York Islanders 8-0 in Game 5 last series, they lost Game 6. The moral of the story is not to overreact.
So far in the playoffs, Montreal ranks 3rd for goals against but 13th for goal scoring. Montreal ranks best in the 2021 NHL Playoffs for penalty killing but is 8th for power play efficiency.
Carey Price is the foundation of Montreal. To illuminate, his playoff save percentage is .928 with a 2.18 goals against average.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens score goals by committee. A total of five Montreal players have four or five goals in the postseason.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Thus far in the postseason, Tampa Bay ranks 2nd for both goal scoring and goals against. On the power play, the Lightning ranks 2nd best in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At the same time, the Bolts rank an impressive 4th for penalty killing.
Namely, Nikita Kucherov was among the top Game-1 heroes for Tampa Bay. Of course, Kucherov was injured late in the previous series against the Islanders. But he was more himself against Montreal with two goals on Monday night.
On the whole, Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is the most underrated goaltender in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy posted 18 saves against 19 shots in Game 1. His save percentage in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs is .936.
Center Brayden Point is in the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation for Tampa Bay. So far in the playoffs, Point has 14 goals with nine assists and a +8. Veteran center and team captain Steven Stamkos adds eight goals and ten assists.
Montreal vs. Tampa Bay Game 2 Prediction
Compared to the Golden Knights, Tampa Bay is far deeper and better down the middle. In turn, the price for Game 2 is better for the Canadiens. Montreal lost Game 1 at Vegas, only to respond with a Game 2 win. Look for that to happen again on Wednesday.
BookMaker Pick: Montreal Canadiens
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