Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Preview: Lightning look to take 3-0 lead over Canadiens as series moves to Montreal

By | July 2, 2021

Will the Stanley Cup Finals experience a shift now that the series is moving to Montreal? The Canadiens will be hoping for that to be the case, as they return home down 2-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning have played like champions in putting themselves within two wins of a repeat, outscoring the Canadiens 8-2 in opening the Stanley Cup Finals with two home wins.

The Canadiens have done a lot of battling to reach this point, but what do they have left in them? And is it enough to overcome the Lightning’s talent and championship experience? Tonight is certainly a make-or-break night for the Canadiens, as a 3-0 lead would likely be a few bridges too far for them.

How does tonight’s pivotal tilt shape up? Let’s take a look at the matchup and the best Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 betting value.

Stanley Cup Finals Game 3: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens, NBC, 8:00 pm ET

Stanley Cup Finals Schedule and Results

  • Monday, June 28 | Game 1 (at Tampa Bay): Lightning 5-1 Canadiens
  • Wednesday, June 30 | Game 2 (at Tampa Bay): Lightning 3-1 Canadiens
  • Friday, July 2 | Game 3 (at Montreal): Lightning vs Canadiens, NBC, 8:00 pm ET
  • Monday, July 5 | Game 4 (at Montreal): Lightning vs Canadiens, NBC, 8:00 pm ET
  • Wednesday, July 7 | Game 5 (at Tampa Bay): Canadiens vs Lightning, NBC, 8:00 pm ET (if necessary)
  • Friday, July 9 | Game 6 (at Montreal): Lightning vs Canadiens, NBC, 8:00 pm ET (if necessary)
  • Sunday, July 11 | Game 7 (at Tampa Bay): Canadiens vs Lightning, NBC, 7:00 pm ET (if necessary)

Stanley Cup Finals Series Betting Odds

All Stanley Cup Finals odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Friday, July 2 at 1:00 pm ET. For odds of each game of the Stanley Cup Finals, check out our NHL odds.

Odds to Win the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals

  • Tampa Bay Lightning -1250
  • Montreal Canadiens +850

Stanley Cup Finals Series Series Handicap

  • Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (-400)
  • Montreal Canadiens +1.5 (+310)

Series Total Games

  • 4 Games +185
  • 5 Games +200
  • 6 Games +350
  • 7 Games +450

Series Correct Score Odds

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 +185
  • 4-1 Tampa Bay Lightning +200
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 +440
  • 4-3 Tampa Bay Lightning +750
  • Montreal Canadiens 4-2 +2600
  • 4-3 Montreal Canadiens +1300

Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Betting Odds

  • Moneyline: Lightning -134, Canadiens +114
  • Total: OVER 5.5 (+136), UNDER 5.5 (-152)
  • Puck Line: Lightning -1.5 (+210), Canadiens +1.5 (-260)

Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Betting Consensus

  • Moneyline: 80% Lightning, 20% Canadiens
  • Total: 60% OVER, 40% UNDER (at O/U 5)
  • Puck Line: 40% Lightning, 60% Lightning (at -/+1.5)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens Game 3 Matchup: Picks, Odds, Stats and More

Can Montreal Break Down Tampa Bay’s Wall?

After falling behind early on the way to a four-goal loss in Game 1, the Canadiens held out for over 26 minutes in Game 2. And when they did fall behind, they responded quickly, with Nick Suzuki tying things up four minutes after Anthony Cirelli’s second-period opener.

But that was as good as it would get for Montreal. The Lightning took the lead with two seconds left in the second period and then put a bow on the win late in the third.

The Lightning didn’t run away with the win like they did in Game 1, but they didn’t need to with their brick wall in net. After saving 18 of 19 shots in Game 1, Andrei Vasilevskiy faced more than twice as many in Game 2. And he was still every bit as stingy, saving 42 of the 43 shots he faced.

Vasilevskiy may have lost out to Marc-Andre Fleury for the Vezina Trophy, but he is a heavy betting favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Vasilevskiy currently sits at -180, with Nikita Kucherov at +250, Brayden Point at +500, and Canadiens netminder Carey Price at +850. In the postseason, he is 14-6-0 with a GAA of 1.89 and a save percentage of .939. Vasilevskiy has recorded four shutouts and allowed only one goal in six other games.

Can the Canadiens solve him tonight to revive their Stanley Cup Finals title hopes? Vasilevskiy is certainly better at home than on the road. In the regular season, he posted a 1.75 GAA and a save percentage of .936 in 20 home games. In 22 road games, he posted a 2.63 GAA and a save percentage of .916. But the Canadiens have their work cut out for them if they are to take the Stanley Cup Finals beyond four games.

Will the Price Be Right for the Canadiens?

It will be just as vital for things to stay tidy in and around the Canadiens’ net after allowing eight goals in the first two games.

One of the reasons why the Canadiens bucked the odds to reach the Stanley Cup Finals is how well they did that after falling into a 3-1 hole against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. In 13 games from that point until Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Canadiens allowed two or fewer goals ten times in 13 games.

Price played only 25 games in the regular season, but he has largely been at the top of his game in the postseason, and he will need to be at the Bell Centre over the next two games. He and the Canadiens have put up better numbers there than on the road in the postseason, so there is a lot for Canadiens fans and bettors to feel confident about.

That said, the Lightning are two games away from a repeat for good reason. Two of the biggest reasons did not actually pick up a single point in Game 2, which is a bad proposition for the Canadiens for Game 3.

Kucherov (seven goals, 23 assists in the Stanley Cup playoffs) has points in 15 of 20 games in the postseason, and he has failed to score in consecutive games only once. The same numbers apply for Point (14 goals, nine assists in the postseason). And for what it’s worth, there has not been a situation yet in the postseason in which they both failed to score in consecutive games. If there is something that is in Montreal’s favor, it is that the postseason away splits for both are inferior to their home splits.

Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Home vs Away Splits

  • Kucherov Home: 5 G, 17 A (11 games)
  • Kucherov Away: 2 G, 6 A (9 games)
  • Point Home: 7 G, 7 A (11 games)
  • Point Away: 7 G, 2 A (9 games)

Still, their player props offer a lot of value tonight. Point’s goal prop is the best of the bunch by far, given that he’s found the net in six of his nine away games in the playoffs.

Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point Points Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Props

  • Kucherov Points: OVER 1 (+110), UNDER 1 (-148)
  • Goals: OVER 0.5 (+205), UNDER 0.5 (-290)
  • Assists: OVER 0.5 (-114), UNDER 0.5 (-114)
  • Point Points: OVER 0.5 (-158), UNDER 0.5 (+118)
  • Goals: OVER 0.5 (+178), UNDER 0.5 (-245)
  • Assists: OVER 0.5 (+168), UNDER 0.5 (-230)

The Canadiens have been up against the count time and again in the postseason, only to repeatedly pick themselves up off of the mat. Can they do it one more time, or does a 3-0 lead beckon for the Lightning?

Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Best Bet

  • Tampa Bay Lightning ML (-134) – The Canadiens are not going to roll over. They have come too far to not go without a serious fight. But the Lightning have seen the example set by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights, who allowed the Canadiens to get an opening and get burned for it. Knowing the danger in letting Montreal get the slightest opening, the Lightning are not going to allow it.

The post Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 Preview: Lightning look to take 3-0 lead over Canadiens as series moves to Montreal first appeared on Betting News.

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