Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens 7/2/21 NHL Picks and Predictions
Photo by Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Montreal Canadiens (36-27-12) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (50-20-6)
Game Info: Friday, July 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Bell Centre)
Betting Odds: Montreal Canadiens +133 / Tampa Bay Lightning -147 --- Over/Under: 5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, July 2nd at the Bell Centre for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Tampa Bay Lightning take a 2-0 series lead into Montreal, as the defending champs are two wins away from their second title in as many years. The Lightning won game one of this series by the final score of 5-1 at Amalie Arena. That was a dominant showing by the Bolts in which all cylinders were firing for Tampa. In game two, Montreal put the pressure on. The Canadiens led both the shot and expected goal battle, but it was the Lightning with a 3-1 win thanks to stellar play by Vezina finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vassy has been nothing short of sensational in these playoffs, as he has certainly been the team's MVP throughout the postseason.
The Canadiens will only have 3,500 fans in attendance at the Bell Centre for game three. This was a disappointing announcement for the fans and the team alike to hear, but Montreal will still get two games on home ice nonetheless. Montreal is in must-win mode, as a loss in game three puts the Habs in a stranglehold down 0-3. Carey Price has not been as sharp as he was in the first three series of the postseason. Tampa Bay was able to score 8 goals on him in Tampa and now the stakes are even higher at home. I would think the Canadiens were happy with their game two performance in almost all facets. The Canadiens were sharp at the faceoff dot and had 20 more shots on net than the Lightning. The Canadiens have played in desperation mode before, as in the first series against the Maple Leafs it seemed that the Habs were virtually down and out. Will Montreal take adversity head-on as it has before in the postseason, or will Tampa be too much to handle?
I am going to side with the Habs in this one, as I do not think this series is over quite yet. If Montreal plays as it did in game two, I expect a win in front of the home crowd in Quebec. I will take the plus money with the home team here.