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Fewer Goals Expected in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning look for a Game 2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

The Montreal Canadiens knew they'd be in for a battle in the Stanley Cup final – but they couldn't have been expecting the punch in the mouth they got from powerhouse Tampa Bay. The Lightning (49-20-6 SU, 34-36-5) look to take a 2-0 lead in the final round of their title defense as big-time Game 2 faves against the visiting Canadiens (36-26-12 SU, 29-38-7 O/U).

Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Date/Time: June 30, 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Amalie Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBCSN
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -200 | O/U 5 (Line History)
  • Canadiens vs Lightning Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lightning kicked off the Game 2 betting cycle at a whopping -200, with those odds now hovering between -195 and -210 depending on the book. The total is set at 5, with the OVER at -115 to -120 and the UNDER anywhere from -105 to +100.

Montreal News & Notes

As has been the case for much of the postseason, the Canadiens find themselves being written off after a lackluster showing in a 5-1 defeat in the series opener. Montreal managed to hang around for two periods but was overwhelmed over the final 20 minutes, watching the Lightning score three unanswered goals en route to their worst loss since a 4-0 defeat to Toronto back on May 25.

Yet, while you can reasonably expect the Canadiens' stalwart goaltending and defense to bounce back to some degree Wednesday, it's unclear whether the offense will follow suit. Montreal managed just 19 shots in Game 1 and continues to struggle overall, with no player having scored more than five goals in the postseason and just two (Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki) with more than 10 points.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

It took 43 minutes for the Lightning to finally pull away, but they did so in emphatic fashion – and the sportsbooks have taken notice, bumping the defending champs from -200 all the way to the -550 range to win the championship. And the fact that Tampa Bay did that much damage on just 27 shots doesn't bode well for the Habs, who have given up an average of 31.1 in the playoffs.

The offensive charge, as expected, was led by Nikita Kucherov, who continues to romp toward a Conn Smythe Trophy with three assists in Game 1. Despite missing the entire regular season, Kucherov is running away with the postseason scoring lead: his 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 19 games are seven more than teammate and runner-up Brayden Point.

Betting Pick: UNDER 5 (-105)

While we still aren't confident in Montreal's offense, we do expect a much more concerted effort at the back end – and that would suit the Lightning just fine, given that they're 7-3-2 this postseason in games featuring five or fewer goals.

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Shark Bites
  • Montreal is 0-7 SU in its last seven games at Tampa Bay.
  • The Lightning are 5-1 SU in their previous six games.
  • The UNDER is 5-2 in the past seven head-to-head meetings.