Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov (86) waits for a face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
- The Lightning and Hurricanes play Game 5 of their NHL Playoff Series on Tuesday, June 8th
- The Bolts have taken a 3-1 series lead and can eliminate Carolina with a victory
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Tampa Bay Lightning can punch their ticket to the third round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday evening.
The Bolts have taken a 3-1 lead over Rod Brind’Amour’s club in their second-round NHL playoff series. Tampa Bay is being listed as -120 favorites in Game 5 on June 8th at PNC Arena (6:30 PM EST).
Should you bet on the Lightning to close out Carolina on the road?
Lightning vs Hurricanes Game 5 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at DraftKings||Total|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-120||-1.5 (+210)||O 5.5 (+110)|
|Carolina Hurricanes||+103||+1.5 (-265)||U 5.5 (-134)|
Odds as of June 7th
Bolts Push Canes To Brink
The Lightning have pushed the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination following a wild 6-4 victory in Game 4. The Bolts fell behind 4-2 in the second period, but scored four unanswered goals to win the game. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had two goals and an assist, while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves.
Four unanswered goals?
Well, why not 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/MFz23L7XJk
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 5, 2021
Getting into a shootout with the Lightning is almost never a good idea given the star power on Tampa’s roster. The Lightning are averaging 3.60 goals per game and feature five players who have already reached the 10-point mark. Kucherov leads the postseason in scoring with 17 points, while Stamkos is tied for second with 13 points.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
The Lightning got a boost in Game 4 with the return of blueliner Denis Savard, who missed the first three games of the series due to an upper-body injury. Savard skated on a defense pairing with Mikhail Sergachev and logged 13:32 of ice time in the victory.
Niederreiter Could Return For Canes
The desperate Hurricanes could get a boost in Tuesday’s do-or-die Game 5 with the potential return of Nino Niederreiter. The top-six forward has yet to play in the series due to an upper-body injury, but practised with the team Monday and is “hopeful” for Game 5. Niederreiter scored 20 goals in 56 games during the regular season.
Nino Niederreiter is back on the ice with the #Canes at practice today pic.twitter.com/pj7C4skdp7
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) June 7, 2021
Niederreiter returning would be significant, but offense wasn’t the Canes’ issue in Game 4. The Canes got four goals past Vezina contender Vasilevskiy and still didn’t win the game. While goalie Petr Mrazek was fantastic in Game 3, he was burned for six goals on 26 shots in Game 4. It’s possible the Canes will turn back to rookie netminder Alex Nedeljkovic for Game 5.
Lightning vs Hurricanes Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Series|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1250|
Special Teams Key In Game 5
If the Hurricanes want to extend this series, they need to stay out of the penalty box. Carolina took five penalties in the second period of Game 4, which was ultimately the reason they lost. The Bolts are loaded with firepower on the man advantage and are clicking at 41.2% efficiency. Tampa score half of their goals in Game 4 on the power play.
The Lightning power play is so dynamic 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3OHkNy0vzW
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 4, 2021
The Hurricanes penalty kill is only operating at 77.5% efficiency, which isn’t good enough when up against a power play of Tampa Bay’s calibre. On the flip side, Carolina’s power play is operating at 20% efficiency and needs to do a better job exploiting a mediocre Lightning penalty kill (75.8%). Niederreiter scored four power-play tallies this year and could provide a spark for Carolina in that area.
Lightning vs Hurricanes Game 5 Best Bet
The Canes will have the crowd on their side in Game 5, but it might not matter much considering the Bolts won the prior two games at PNC Arena in this series. Tampa really flexed its offensive muscles in Game 4 and proved they can still win even if Vasilevskiy has a rare off night.
If Niederreiter returns and Nedeljkovic is confirmed the starter, I like Carolina’s chances better than if they start Mrazek. It’s still likely not going to be enough when you look at the confidence Tampa Bay’s star players are playing with. Bet on Vasilevskiy bouncing back and the Lightning advancing onto the semi-finals with a third consecutive road victory.
Pick: Lightning ML (-120)
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Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.