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 2) – 8.00 PM EDT
The Canadiens struggled to stop the Lightning in the Stanley Cup final opener, losing 5-1 for their worst defeat since their round 1 series against the Maple Leafs. On the other side of the coin it was the best possible start for the reigning champions, who looked incredibly strong both defensively and when going forward.
The Lightning wasted no time to get the scoring going, with Erik Cernak burying the opener just 6 minutes in before Yanni Gourde added another around the same time of the second term.
The Canadiens got some hope when Ben Chiarot reduced the deficit before the end of the period, however, an inspired third term from Nikita Kucherov put that hope on ice. The Russian put on a masterclass, scoring 2 minutes after the whistle and once again at the midway point, rounding the period out by assisting Steven Stamkos with the final goal of the game.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 29, 2021
Brayden Point took a break from scoring the goals, but made up for it by assisting in 3 for his 23rd point of the postseason, nearly half as many as he picked up across 56 games in the regular season.
The Habs kept the game tight up until the final term, but failed to maintain the pace, finishing the game with a playoff low 19 attempts. The Lightning only took 27, unfortunately Carey Price had a night to forget, making just 22 saves at a playoff low .815 save percentage.
The Canadiens get another crack at the Lightning today, however, away from home we just don’t see the result playing out too differently, this Lightning outfit are just looking a little too finely tuned and we expect them to extend the lead today.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.