Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Game 3 Betting Preview/Player Prop
Tampa Bay is the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they came into this series as a huge betting favorite. Despite finishing in just third place in the tough Central Division, the Lightning have looked like a title contender all season long.
Montreal was not supposed to be in the Stanley Cup Finals, but this team has just refused to get beat in the postseason. The Canadiens stunned Vegas last round, and that came after a pair of upsets in the North Division Playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are -137 on the money line in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Goaltending Guiding Tampa Bay
There aren’t many holes on this Tampa Bay roster, but goaltending has been the strength of this team in the postseason. Andre Vasilevskiy has started every game for Tampa Bay in the playoffs, and he has shut down the Canadiens.
Vasilevskiy has allowed just two goals so far in this series, and he is giving up just 1.9 goals against per game. The Lightning also have a solid defense in place, but their hot goaltender is setting the tone.
Nikita Kucherov has 23 assists and 30 total points to pace the Lightning on the offensive end. The Lightning don’t typically blow teams away with their offense, but this is a roster loaded with stars.
Canadiens Have to Play Free
Montreal got to the Stanley Cup Finals by playing a loose and freestyle of hockey, but that hasn’t happened in this series. The Canadiens did get more traffic in front of the net in Game 2, but this team needs a new game plan.
Nick Suzuki has scored a goal so far in this series, and he leads Montreal with six postseason goals. Tyler Toffoli is the best offensive weapon for Montreal, and he has to find a way into the stat sheet.
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is the biggest reason this team pulled off so many upsets, but he has struggled in this series. Price will need to be at the top of his game to shut down the relentless attack of the Lightning.
Montreal Tightens Things Up
The Lighting have proved through two games that they are the much better team in this matchup, but things won’t be as easy up in Canada. Tampa Bay just needs to win one game up North to stay in control, but they will be facing a desperate team in Montreal.
The Canadiens have been proving doubters wrong all postseason, and they aren’t going to make this easy on the Lightning. Look for Montreal to take some chances on both ends of the ice on Friday, and they will find some offense.
One win isn’t going to make the Canadiens a betting favorite to win a title, but they will keep some pressure on by winning Game 3. Take the Montreal Canadiens money line in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Nicholas Suzuki (-125) Over 0.5 Points
Suzuki’s M.O. this postseason has been slow starts and fast finishes. In the first two games of the Canadiens’ series against Toronto, Winnipeg and Vegas, Suzuki had a combined 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist).
In the 11 games that followed, the Habs’ center recorded 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists). He has especially enjoyed skating on the home ice where he’s tallied 7 points in 8 playoff games.
Suzuki had one of the few bright spots for Montreal in Game 2 as he beat Andrei Vasilevskiy for a goal in the second period that briefly tied the game at 1-1 before Blake Coleman’s epic back-breaker.
Returning to Bell Centre tonight with the Canadiens’ backs to the wall, we’ll look for Suzuki (-125) to follow his earlier trends and go over 0.5 points.
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