Canadiens vs Lightning Prediction | Stanley Cup Final Game 5
The Canadiens have lived to see another day, and that means we return to Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena for another potential series-deciding Game 5. Here’s our look at the game 5 Canadiens vs Lightning predictions!
Tampa Bay has absolutely dominated this series, and had it not been for some Game 4 heroics in overtime from bruiser Josh Anderson, they would’ve completed the sweep on enemy ice with the cup in the building.
Instead, Lord Stanley’s Cup will make the trip to Tampa Bay and will be present, and the Lightning will have the opportunity to win in front of their home fans. They will also be able to celebrate with their families, something that would not be able to happen in Montreal due to Covid restrictions from the country of Canada.
Game 4 was an absolute barn burner inside of the Bell Centre.
After shifting of lines from Montreal’s coach Dominique Ducharme on Monday, Josh Anderson ended up on a line with the Canadiens resident youngsters Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Anderson opened up the scoring in the first period and ended the night in overtime with his second goal of the night off a rebound on a Caufield shot that he set up.
The goal gave Montreal a 3-2 overtime win, and more importantly, hope and a breath of life.
Montreal pulled out the victory, beating all the odds, and avoiding many compromising situations. One being the costly four-minute double-minor penalty to Shea Weber with 61 seconds remaining in regulation.
Shea Weber high-sticked Lightning forward Ondrej Palat off of a face off, resulting in a cut to Palat’s face, and the most impossible task for the Canadiens, killing off a four-minute Lightning powerplay.
Once Montreal killed off the entirety of the penalty kill, they harnassed all of that momentum, and Anderson would score shortly after.
Had the Tampa Bay Lightning closed out the series with the sweep on Monday, they would have been the first team to sweep the Stanley Cup Finals since 1998. The Detroit Red Wings dismantled the Washington Capitals in 1998 and completed back-to-back Stanley Cups, something the Lightning are also aiming for.
It would have also been only the second time in history that the most decorated NHL franchise in Montreal would have been swept in the finals.
Does Tampa Bay Close it Out at Home?
Montreal has found a way to keep their hopes alive time and time again in these NHL playoffs, pushing their record to 4-0 in elimination games with their win on Monday.
The overtime win also increased their overtime record to 6-1 in these playoffs.
Much like the rest of the series, Tampa Bay looked like the better team in Game 4. Carey Price just happened to have his best game of this series after holding .835 save percentage through the first three games.
He made 30 saves en route to his first victory in the Stanley Cup final in his career.
Montreal was able to secure their first leads of the series when they got an early goal from Josh Anderson to make it 1-0 and then the tiebreaker goal from Alexander Romanov that made it 2-1. However, they would relinquish both of those leads, and give Tampa ample opportunities to close them out.
Tampa Bay did not get point production from their top lines in Game 4, with their goals coming from Barclay Goodrow and Pat Maroon who is looking for his third consecutive Stanley Cup, one with St. Louis, and two with Tampa.
I do not expect this to continue when the Lightning have talents such as Kucherov, Point, Palat, Stamkos, you name it. One of them will get on the board tonight.
The Lightning also went 0-5 on the power play in Game 5, something that is almost unheard of for this team in these playoffs. They held a 39.8 power-play conversion rate prior to laying an egg in Game 4.
Canadiens vs Lightning Prediction
When given the opportunity to close out teams, Tampa Bay has faltered in their last four series dating back to last year’s Stanley Cup final.
When given the chance to finish off Dallas in last year’s final, the Lightning would also lose in overtime, but then they would rebound for a 2-0 victory in the next game to clinch the Cup.
This season during the playoffs, the Bolts failed to eliminate both the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders in their first elimination games but would finish the deal in the next game.
What is even more remarkable is that they have secured shutouts from Andrei Vasilevskiy in each of those games.
I expect Tampa Bay to finish what has been a stellar run in these playoffs, and complete yet another back-to-back Stanley Cup runs after the Penguins won it in 2016 and 2017.
Picks: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+120) or the safer Tampa Bay ML (-240). Odds via PointsBet
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