Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
- The Tampa Bay Lightning, leading 2-1 in the series, are -162 favorites to win Game 4 on June 5 to take command of the series
- The Hurricanes could have three key forwards out with injury
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Tampa Bay Lightning are strong -162 favorites against the Carolina Hurricanes partly because top scorer Nikita Kucherov is overdue for an explosive offensive game.
The Hurricanes tightened up defensively in the first two games at home, limiting Kucherov to no goals and one shot on goal and no goals. But to beat Tampa Bay, the Hurricanes needed to open up a bit more.
As a result, Kucherov had seven shots on goal. He didn’t score. The Hurricanes won Game 3 on an overtime goal by Sebastian Aho, making it likely they will play wide open again. That means more chances for Kucherov. That’s a scary thought for the Hurricanes. If he gets seven shots again, one or more will go in.
Hurricanes vs Lightning Game 4 Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings||Spread||Total|
|Carolina Hurricanes||+138||+1.5 (-195)||O 5.5 (+108)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-162||-1.5 (+155)||U 5.5 (-132)|
Odds as of June 4th
Lightning Have Edge in Most Statistical Categories
The Tampa Bay Lightning have five players averaging a point per game in these playoffs. Eleven different Tampa Bay players have scored a goal.
The Lightning have better depth than Carolina, especially given Carolina’s injury woes. They have scored 30 goals in nine game. Their power play is clicking along at a 39.3% efficiency.
They don’t have to rely on one player, or one line, or even one style of play. They are equally comfortable trading goals, playing tight defense or squaring off in a goalie matchup.
Killorn-Cirelli-Stamkos line tonight
7-3 Corsi advantage
5-0 in scoring chances
They’ve been matched up mostly against McGinn-Martinook-Fast
— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) June 4, 2021
Sebastian Aho Faces Added Pressure in Game 4
What we learned in Game 3 is that the Carolina Hurricanes go as Aho goes. Aho didn’t register a point in the first two games in Carolina and the Hurricanes lost both,
In Game 3, he posted a goal and two assists and the Hurricanes won a 3-2 decision. He outperformed Tampa Bay’s top scorer Kucherov.
The injury-depleted Hurricanes need Aho to have another big game against the Lightning. It has been all or nothing for Aho in these playoffs. He has been shutout in five games and has scored two goals in two games and three points in two other contests.
Sebastian Aho, the OT hero yet again 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/SYjX6SpCJr
— y – Alex Ohári 🇭🇺🔴⚪️ (@FutureCanes) June 4, 2021
Lightning vs Hurricanes Series Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-305|
Hurricanes Undermined by Injured Forwards
In Saturday’s Game 4, the Hurricanes could be without forwards Nino Niederreiter, Vincent Trocheck and Warren Foegele because of injury. Their combined total of 47 goals represents 26.2% of Carolina regular-season scoring.
Niederreiter hasn’t yet played in the series. Trocheck played the first two games of the serie, but not Game 3. Foegele was knocked out of Game 3 on a blindside hit.
Vincent Trocheck was helped to the room late in the second period after this friendly-fire collision with Warren Foegele pic.twitter.com/DQFwmSc93C
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) June 2, 2021
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said Trocheck and Niederreiter would to try to play Saturday, but they also said that about Trocheck before Game 3. The Hurricanes haven’t disclosed the nature of the three injuries.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said defenseman David Savard is getting closer to returning to the lineup. He hasn’t played since the first round series against the Florida Panthers.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Lightning Too Strong to Fail?
The Lightning are a veteran team that learn from their mistakes. In the first round against the Florida Panthers, they won the first two games of the series, lost Game 3 in overtime, and then came back to win Game 4 by a 6-2 decisive verdict. You can expect the prideful Lightning to follow the same pattern.
You will see the Lightning’s best effort in Game 4 because they know that it is difficult to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series. The Lightning want the 3-1 series lead. You will see them push the offensive tempo against Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek.
Pick: Lightning -1.5 ( +155)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.