The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final is finally here! Will it be a 24th win for the historic Montreal Canadiens? Or are the Lightning strong enough to take down the prestigious prize for a second straight campaign? Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Montreal Canadiens @ Tampa Bay Lightning (Final – Game 5) – 8.00 PM EDT
On the verge of a painful 4 game sweep to the reigning champions, the Canadiens rallied in Montreal to reduce the series deficit to 3-1. Unfortunately, the Habs now have to travel back to Tampa Bay, where they were convincingly defeated in both games’ 1 and 2.
For the first time all series it was the Habs who struck first in game 4, with Josh Anderson breaking the deadlock toward the back end of the opening term. The Lightning clawed back in the second, finally getting the better of Carey Price in the final minutes of the second term thanks to an effort from Barclay Goodrow, his second of the postseason.
Despite taking 13 less attempts than the Lightning, the Canadiens managed to break away in the final period, but it took just 5 minutes for the Lightning to cancel the goal out, sending the match to overtime, the first of the series so far.
Un match 4 très physique. 💥
Things got physical on Monday.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 6, 2021
With the pressure of becoming the first team to be swept in a Stanley Cup final since the Detroit Red Wings back in 1998, the Canadiens managed to get the job done, with Josh Anderson burying the crucial goal less than 5 minutes into the additional time, his second for the match.
The win will pump some much needed, and previously lacking confidence into the Habs, however, they now face the uphill battle of returning to Tampa with the championship on the line.
The Habs were able to grind out the victory in tight fashion on home ice, but away from home we just don’t see the Lightning slipping up twice given how dominant they were in games’ 1 and 2.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.