- The Tampa Bay Lightning are -113 favorites to eliminate the Boston Bruins from the Stanley Cup playoffs in Monday’s Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series
- Boston, the Presidents’ Trophy winners, have lost three games in a row
- The Bruins are 5-2 win in their last seven games when facing elimination – read below for our betting prediction
A year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were the NHL Presidents’ Trophy holders bowing out meekly in the playoffs.
This year, the Bolts are the ones striking the blow.
A 3-1 victory on Saturday also moved the Lightning into a 3-1 lead over the Boston Bruins in their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Tampa Bay opens as the -113 favorites to eliminate the Bruins in Game 5 on Monday at 7pm ET. If so, the Lightning will reach the NHL final four for the fourth time in six years.
Bruins vs Lightning Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread||Total at DraftKings|
|Boston Bruins||-103||+1.5 (-278)||U 5.5 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-113||-1.5 (+225)||O 5.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Aug. 29th
The oddsmakers seem to be the only ones left with any sort of faith in the Bruins. Despite losing three games in a row and being outscored 10-2 over the past two games, Boston is being given a -103 underdog betting line in the Lightning vs Bruins odds.
The Bruins and Lightning also met in Round 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Tampa Bay won the series in five games.
The Bruins were Game 1 victors that time around before Tampa rattled off four successive victories.
The Bolts are a win away from history repeating itself.
However, since 2015, Tampa Bay shows a mediocre 5-6 record in games when the team was poised to close out a series. On the other hand, Boston is 5-2 over the same span in games when facing elimination.
Halak Can’t Hack It
There are numerous facets in which Boston is proving second-best to Tampa Bay. One of those vital areas where the Bruins are #2 is between the posts.
Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy has checked the Bruins on two goals over the past 120 minutes of hockey. Meanwhile, the Lightning have lit up Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak.
He accepts your apologies pic.twitter.com/2kLFiHy5gG
— Nolan Herlihy ? (@NolanHerlihy) August 29, 2020
In the past two games, Halak shows a 4.71 goals-against average and an .833 save percentage. For the playoffs, he’s 16th in among NHL goalies in save percentage (.910), 24th in GAA (2.63) and 18th in high-danger save percentage (.829).
Bruins fans who bid good riddance to Vezina winner Tuukka Rask when he left the NHL bubble to attend to a family illness might want to begin crafting their letters of apology. It would appear that Rask had more than a little bit to do with Boston’s Jennings Trophy win as the NHL team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season.
There’s Trouble Bruin
The Lightning have played the entire series minus #1 center and captain Steven Stamkos (leg injury). Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay’s second-best defenseman, missed the last three games (unfit to play).
Yet Boston can’t keep pace with the Bolts. Depth of scoring is another huge edge for Tampa.
Ondrej Palat extended his goal streak to three games. Palat sits one game shy of matching the longest goal streak in @TBLightning postseason history, shared by Steven Stamkos (2015 & 2018), Vincent Lecavalier (2007) and Martin St. Louis (2003). #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/F5GdjnnJDC
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 29, 2020
Five Lightning players show multiple goals in the series – Ondrej Palat (four), Victor Hedman (three) and Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and Blake Coleman with two each. Tampa Bay’s produced a multi-goal scorer in all four games of the series.
Reigning Hart Trophy winner Kucherov has seven points in the past three games. Tampa Bay’s power play is clicking at 36.3% (4-for-11) over the past two games.
The unfortunate truth for Bruins fans is this: if the Bruins can’t beat the Lightning when they are without Stamkos and McDonagh, they are a long, long way from winning the Stanley Cup
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) August 29, 2020
For Boston, Brad Marchand has four goals. That’s 50% of Boston’s scoring. No other Bruin has more than one goal in the series.
In Stanley Cup history, teams that hold a 3-1 advantage win 90.7% of those series (284-29). That’s including a 6-0 slate this postseason.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-113)