Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) watches a puck during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are heavy -220 favorites to close out the Stanley Cup final against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 on Wednesday, July 7th
- Montreal staved off elimination with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 at the Bell Centre
- The Canadiens are 0-8 straight up in their last eight games at Tampa’s Amalie Arena – check out our best bet below
Three historic moments didn’t occur during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning, up 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, failed to join the 1951-52 Detroit Red Wings as the only teams to sweep the Canadiens in a Cup final series.
Montreal scored a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 4 at the Bell Centre on Monday. That meant Tampa Bay also couldn’t join the 1988-89 Calgary Flames as visiting teams who’ve hoisted the Stanley Cup on the Canadiens home ice.
On the other hand, Montreal didn’t become the first team to be swept in a final series since the 1997-98 Washington Capitals.
Oddsmakers, though, are of the opinon that history will repeat itself in Game 5 at Amalie Arena. Last year, the Lightning also squandered their first chance at eliminating the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup final.
They delivered the goods in the next game, and expectations are that will be happening again. The Lightning are odds-on -220 favorites to close out the series on home ice in Game 5. Montreal is 2-6 against the spread in it last eight games at Tampa Bay
Lightning vs Canadiens Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at DraftKings||Total|
|Montreal Canadiens||+185||+1.5 (-150)||O 5.0 (-130)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-220||+1.5 (+125)||U 5.0 (+108)|
Odds as of July 6th
Game time for Wednesday at Amalie Arena is listed at 8pm ET. NBC will be carrying the broadcast.
Canadiens Staying Alive
Montreal improved to 4-0 when facing elimination in the 2021 playoffs. Josh Anderson’s goal 3:57 into OT kept the Habs alive to fight for another day. Montreal is also 6-1 in overtime.
Struggling with an .835 save percentage through the first three games, Canadiens goalie Carey Price made 30 saves for his first career Stanley Cup final victory.
The Canadiens weren’t exactly stellar in Game 4. They squandered 1-0 and 2-1 leads. Tampa Bay fired 11 of the first 12 shots on net.
Game 4 looked an awful lot like the first three games. The only difference was that in this contest, Tampa Bay’s shots didn’t go in the net. Still, it felt much more like a stay of execution for Montreal than the beginning of an epic rally.
Canadiens vs Lightning Series Odds
|Team||Odds at FanDuel|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1800|
Montreal coach Dominque Ducharme did some serious lineup shuffling for Game 4. He dropped forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and defensemen Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson.
#Habs Jake Evans: “it’s been a wild year with a lot of unexpected things. For us, we’ve been such a close group and believe in each other – whatever we get thrown at us we’re going to battle through and I think that’s what we’ve kept doing this whole year.”
— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) July 6, 2021
In their place, Alexander Romanov and Brett Kulak earned insertion along the blueline. Forward Jake Evans (concussion) saw his first action since he was injured when run over by Winnipeg captain Mark Schiefele in Game 1 of Round 2.
Lightning forward Alex Killorn (foot) has missed the last three games and is listed as questionable for Game 5. In his place, Mathieu Joseph has tallied points in each of the past two games.
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Opportunity Was There For Lightning
Montreal didn’t win Game 4 as much as Tampa Bay let it get away. The Lightning were presented with ample opportunity to close this set out and couldn’t seal the deal.
Tampa Bay’s vaunted power play was handcuffed by Montreal’s stellar penalty kill. The Lightning went 0-for-5 with the man advantage. That included a four-minute high-sticking infraction assessed to Montreal captain Shea Weber late in the third period that extended into the overtime session.
Feeling the love, @tombrady 🙌 pic.twitter.com/dQ5u0wy5Q5
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 5, 2021
Faced with the chance to finish off Dallas in last year’s final, the Lightning also lost in overtime. They rebounded for a 2-0 victory in the next game to clinch the Cup. This season, the Bolts failed in their first elimination game against both the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders, but got the job done in the next game.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has posted shutouts in Tampa Bay’s last four series-clinching wins. The Lightning haven’t lost successive playoff games since being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-220)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.