Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs July 7

Canadiens (1-3) at Lightning (3-1) – Game 5

  • Time: 5:15PM PST – 7:15PM CST – 8:15PM EST
  • Place: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
  • TV: NBC

Puck Drop

The Montreal Canadiens postponed the inevitable on Monday night as Josh Anderson scored 3:57 into overtime to give Montreal a 3-2 win over the Lightning and push the series back to Tampa Bay for Game 5 this evening.

Anderson’s goal came on the heels of a high-sticking double-minor on the Canadiens Shea Weber at 18:59 into the third period

Tampa Bay fought an uphill battle for most of the evening, but when Pat Maroon tied the game at 2-2 at 13:48 in the third, it felt like the momentum break that the Lightning would need.

Anderson scored two goals as he netted the first in the game at 15:39 the first to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead.

The Lightning outshot the Habs, 34-21, as they outplayed Montreal throughout the first period, but couldn’t find the puck placement they needed to grab the early lead.

Tampa Bay will look to rebound on home ice as they have had three other 3-0 leads and won all three series as they swept Montreal and Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2004 and 2011 and they went to six games before knocking out the Canadiens in the same round in 2015.

A win tonight will allow the Lightning to be the first team to go back-to-back since the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins as they will be the seventh team in the modern era to kick out back-to-back titles.

Trends

Montreal Canadiens (38-39, ATS):

  • The Habs are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games
  • Montreal is 1-7 SU in their last 8 games
  • The Canadiens are 6-3 SU in their last 9 road games

Tampa Bay Lightning (36-42, ATS):

  • The Lightning are 8-0 SU in their last 8 home games vs. Montreal
  • Tampa Bay checks in at 4-1 SU in it’s last 5 games
  • The Bolts are 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games

Goalies

Tampa Bay Lightning LogoAndrei Vasilevskiy has been incredible in the playoffs this season as he currently has a 93.2 save percentage in the Stanley Cup Finals as he has stopped 110 of 118 pucks. Vasilevskiy gave up the game-winner on Monday, but lets that he is 13-0 in the playoffs after a loss. The Russian-born goalie lost a streak of 11 straight appearances vs. Montreal as his last loss before Monday was on Feb. 24, 2018.


Montreal Canadiens LogoMontreal’s Carey Price had a big game as the Lightning tattooed him with 34 pucks, but Tampa Bay has been able to get shots off nearly as they please in taking 28.3 shots as Price has given up 15 goals in stopping 98 of 113 (.867). Price was a hot goalie coming into the series as he stopped 63 of 66 shots in the last two matchups with Vegas.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Canadiens +1½ (-145) +190 U 5 (-125)
Lightning -1½ (+125) -230 O 5 (+105)

*Odds Courtesy of BetUS Sportsbook

Head-to-Head

The parade through downtown Tampa has been put on hold, but maybe not for long. Game 5 figures like the rebooting of the machine that is the Tampa Bay Lightning and now they could have a five or six-goal game in store.

Nikita Kucherov has been cresting since the beginning of the playoffs after missing the entire season with a hip injury and now scoring 32 points so far in the playoffs with three goals and two assists vs. the Canadiens. Blake Coleman, he of the diving goal at the end of the second period of Game 2 has four points (2 goals/2assists) as does Tyler Goodrow who has turned into one of the scrappiest contributors on the Lightning squad.

Watch Brayden Point this evening. He led Tampa Bay with 48 points during the regular season and he has 14 goals in the playoffs but has yet to get a marker in the Stanley Cup Finals. Stay tuned on that one.

The Lightning could use Alex Killorn’s presence on the first line of defense as he is still recovering from a foot injury after missing three games.

Montreal has to score early and playoff the momentum they created with the overtime win. Youngster Nick Suzuki was phenomenal for the Canadiens this season as he assisted Anderson’s first goal and has seven goals and nine assists in the playoffs. Tyler Toffoli had 44 points to lead Montreal in the regular season and is second behind Suzuki with 14 points (5g./9a.).

Special Teams

Tampa Bay has to draw penalties and get back on the power play as the Lightning have only two power-play goals in nine opportunities. Somehow, they have to work to throw a wrench into the disciplined approach of the Islanders and draw the penalties.

Point and Victor Hedman have those two power-play markers vs. the Islanders.

Tampa Bay was 0-for-6 on the power play on Monday, a stat you may never see again. The Lightning came in with the No. 2 power play in the playoffs as they had netted 22-of-60 (36.7%) and after Game 4 for the percentage fell to 33.3 percent.

That 0-for-6 stat bolstered Canadiens’ penalty killers who were at 90.6 percent (48/53), so after that, the Montreal PK moved to 91.5 percent.

The Lightning only have 2 power-play goals in this series as they are 2-for-16 the Canadiens are 1-of-9.

Kucherov has 19 power-play points in the playoffs while Victor Hedman has 13 as Point and Steven Stamkos have 12 each.

Suzuki has six points and Toffoli has five on the power plays to lead Montreal.

The Bets
Tampa Bay Lightning -1½
+125
Tampa Bay Lightning
-230
UNDER 5
+105
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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