On Saturday night, the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning drop the puck at Amalie Arena. The Canadiens are counting down the days until this season is in the books and they can go on vacation.
This is a throwaway season for the Habs. They enter tonight with a record of 18-39-11 and 47 points for dead last in the Eastern Conference and a tie with the Arizona Coyotes for last in the NHL.
Faits saillants de l'entraînement d'aujourd'hui!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 1, 2022
After going to the Stanley Cup Final last year, it wasn’t what the Canadiens envisioned. Yeah, it was only last year that the Canadiens were in the Stanley Cup Final versus the Lightning.
It feels much longer than that, given what’s going on for the Canadiens this season. The Canadiens suffered a 4-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh on Thursday in their most recent struggle.
They’re on a three-game losing streak and losses in five of their previous six attempts. That’s typical for a Montreal team that cannot sustain any pressure.
Meanwhile, the Lightning are streaking right now on a four-game winning streak. Tampa is coming off a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
Still not over this pass. pic.twitter.com/pPWQeYAkKx
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 2, 2022
The Bolts showed no letdown after a 4-3 win in overtime against a capable foe in the Hurricanes. Tampa is second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 43-18-6 at 92 points and 6 behind the Panthers for the lead.
The Lightning are off the pace for the Presidents’ Trophy, but that may be for the better after they avoided reaching their peak in the regular season the last two years.
Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Lightning prediction on April 2, 2022.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
|Montreal Canadiens||+1.5 (-105)||+250||Over 6.5 (+100)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5 (-115)||-300||Under 6.5 (-120)|
|Team Data||Montreal Canadiens||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Goals Per Game||2.51||3.31|
|Goals Against Per Game||3.76||2.73|
|Shots Per Game||29.60||30.45|
|Shots Against Per Game||34.53||29.61|
Canadiens vs. Lightning Prediction:
If the Lightning show up and show any sign of motivation, they should have a clear path to victory at home over the Canadiens.
Montreal doesn’t like well-rounded teams, and the Lightning are one of the most balanced units in the NHL. The Lightning are in the top-10 offensively and defensively.
They are tough on both ends of the ice, and not much has changed since they won the first of two back-to-back Stanley Cups. Tampa is the seventh-best team in the league with 2.73 goals against per game.
The Lightning are seventh in shots against per game as well. They’ve conceded 29.61 shots per game to give Andrei Vasilevskiy a chance in the crease.
Vasilevskiy has been in good form, with a 2.37 GAA and 0.919 save percentage, and two shutouts. For a Montreal team that is struggling to score consistently, this should be a tough assignment.
The Habs are last in the NHL with 2.51 goals scored per game. An inept power-play has held the Canadiens back this season. They are 31st with a success rate of 13.6% with the extra man.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Trends:
- 14-43 overall in their previous 57 games as an underdog
- 20-47 overall in their previous 67 games on the road
- 9-26 overall in their previous versus a team with a winning record
- 0-10 overall in their previous ten games at Tampa Bay
- 1-4 overall in their previous five games on the road
- 10-0 overall in their previous ten games versus the Canadiens at home
- 62-19 overall in their previous 81 games versus the Atlantic Division
- 38-13 overall in their previous 51 games as a betting favorite
- 4-1 overall in their previous five games after a win
- 20-8 overall in their previous 28 games on a back-to-back
The Lightning can score if need be as well. They are the ninth-best team in the NHL, with 3.31 goals per game.
Expect the Bolts to exploit a banged up and ineffective Canadiens blueline on Saturday. As a visitor, the Canadiens have gotten throttled for more than 4 goals per game.
All the while, the Montreal forwards haven’t come through to find more goals. They’ve notched 2.49 goals a game as a visiting team in 2021-22.
It’s going to be tough versus the Bolts, who’ve allowed 2.1 goals per game in their last ten attempts. Brian Elliott gets the call after Vasilevskiy started last night, but that isn’t so much a bad thing.
Elliott has been sharp with a 2.38 GAA, and 0.916 save percentage in 13 outings. He should be in fine form to stop a spotty Montreal offense tonight.
The Canadiens may linger in this one, but a 4-2 or 5-2 win for the Lightning looks like the end result. Look for the Lightning to win and cover the puckline.