Lightning vs. Canadiens NHL Game 3 Info
NHL Playoffs Game 3 (Lightning Lead 2-0)
Tampa Bay Lightning (36-17-3) vs Montreal Canadiens (24-21-11)
Date: Friday, June 28
Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: Centre Bell
Lightning vs. Canadiens Moneyline, Total and Odds
All NHL odds are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Moneyline: Canadiens +116 | Lightning -136
Spread: Canadiens +1.5 (-255) | Lightning -1.5 (+205)
Total: 5.5 Over +138 | Under -172
Odds to win Stanely Cup:Lightning -1250 | Canadiens +850
Lightning vs. Canadiens Predictions and Picks
- Canadiens +118
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens News, Analysis, and Picks
It took a few games, but the Montreal Canadiens finally got back on the right track in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It wasn't the winning track, but it was the first time in three games that the Habs outplayed their opponents at five-on-five.
Montreal will need a similar effort in Game 3 if they hope to climb back into this series. The Habs dominated in nearly every metric. Montreal posted a Corsi rating of 58.9%, out-shooting the Lightning 34-18, out-chancing them in scoring chances 26-20 and high-danger chances 7-6. All things considered, the Habs posted a 60.8% expected goals-for percentage, which was the second time over their last six games in which they posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0%.
Montreal's recent game scores at five-on-five over their recent sample may have dipped, but their metrics across all strengths remain among the best of the playoffs. Special teams have elevated Montreal's expected goals-for percentage across all strengths, with the Habs outplaying their opponents in 10 of 12 games since the start of the second round.
The issue the Habs have encountered is beating Andrei Vasilevskiy. Goal scoring has run dry as the Habs have found the back of the net just twice through two Stanley Cup games. One of the Habs' goals came with the man-advantage, with only one of those coming at five-on-five. Worse yet, the Habs haven't recorded a high-danger goal at five-on-five in three straight contests. The timing of Montreal's offensive struggles couldn't be worse, but the advanced metrics indicate that we should expect Vasilevskiy to slide back towards average over the coming games.
Vasilevskiy is on a five-game tear in which he's stopped 96.1%, well above his postseason average of 93.9% and even further ahead of his 92.5% regular-season average. We witnessed a similar situation unfold over the first couple of rounds with Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche. Grubauer stopped 94.3% of shots over his first six games, winning each game. However, a shot from behind the net from Jonathan Marchessault rebounded off Grubauer and into the net, setting off an inevitable crash back towards the mean. Grubauer stopped just 84.1% of shots over the last three games, and the Avs were eliminated from the postseason. Vasilevskiy's tumble might not be as dramatic as Grubauer's, but he's flying too close to the sun to maintain the level of production from his recent sample.
With a playoff-leading PDO of 1.050, the Lightning are overdue for a bad bounce. Tampa has an actual goals-for percentage of 53.9% on the road, over 10.0% higher than their expected value of 43.3%, which is yet another indicator of the correction the Lightning are charting towards. Carey Price is stopping 93.5% of shots on home ice, winning five of his last six starts, with the Habs scoring at least three goals in all five victories.
The metrics support that the Habs are in a good position Friday night, but the betting market does not. How good the Habs are is fresh in our minds from Game 2, but the Habs are still priced as underdogs. We're using this opportunity to back the Canadiens.
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