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NHL Picks – Tampa Bay vs. Montreal Game 3
Updated July 2, 2021
NHL Picks as the Stanley Cup Final continues
As the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues, fans can now see if the Montreal Canadiens can take their first game of this series. In this article, we have our NHL Picks for this Monday, June 28th. Will the Tampa Bay Lightning be able to take a dominant 3-0 lead on the road? Or will Montreal finally get that elusive first win from the Bell Centre?
Montreal Canadiens should edge Tampa Bay in Game 3 on Friday
Friday night brings us the opening contest for the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay is on the road but is still a very slight favorite away from Amalie Arena,
Now, the big news is how well Tampa Bay played in the huge moments during the first two games of the series. Tampa Bay was up 2-1 after two periods in Game 1. They exploded for three goals and won with ease by a score of 5-1. The second game saw Montreal play a little better and appeared to be tied after two periods. However, Blake Coleman scored with around a second left on an incredible goal.
We were able to talk to coach Jon Cooper on Thursday about it all. This is what he had to say on the buzzer beater goal as well as the Tampa Bay third line.
This is where the debate for NHL Picks begins. Naturally, there were times where Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki had scoring chances even against the Tampa Bay third line. With Dominque Ducharme returning, Montreal gets an extra added boost as they head home to the Bell Centre. The thing is Montreal was close to a split in Game 2. However, the Canadiens just came up short as Tampa Bay did just enough late in the second period and in parts of the third to hold Montreal off.
It is easy to see why the Tampa Bay Lightning are still slight road favorites for Game 3. For what it is worth, Andrei Vasilevskiy gives the Lightning a chance to win every night. He stopped 42 of 43 shots in Game 2. Montreal must score early on the Russian goaltender.
Montreal CanadiensTo defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning on the moneyline
Ahead of Game 3, the NHL odds are out and they favor Tampa Bay. The Lightning has been listed between -130 and -145, while the Montreal Canadiens are around +110 to +120. Montreal fans were hopeful for a split at Amalie Arena as Tampa Bay had issues winning at home at times in these playoffs. That was not meant to be but Montreal played way more assertive. That needs to continue.
Montreal showed in the first and second periods in Game 2 that they belonged on the same ice as the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were able to work hard and probably deserved an extra goal or two along the way. It just never came.
It comes down to the start. Montreal must execute early, draw penalties, generate scoring chances on transition, etc.
For NHL Picks, our best bet on Friday night features taking Montreal on the moneyline.
A quick Tampa Bay and Montreal breakdown
Montreal should win Game 3 on Friday. Tampa Bay can quickly wipe or nearly wipe deficits off the board. Montreal has been resilient and can feed off the home crowd of 3,500. Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens come in with a 92.3% penalty kill and have yielded just one power-play goal since mid-way through the Toronto series.
The Lightning can score with all four lines and generate a lot of chances. This is something Montreal managed to get used to in Game 2. Again the pace Montreal unloaded at even strength was something else — especially after the first 39 minutes and 59 seconds.
Special teams will definitely be vital. Montreal has been as good as Tampa Bay in this series from both a power play and penalty kill standpoint. Yes, everyone will talk about the goal allowed in Game 1 but Montreal did score a goal on the man advantage in Game 2. There was something to that power play where Montreal showed movement that Tampa Bay did not appear ready for. If the Canadiens can apply that during the rest of the game then Tampa Bay is in trouble.
Montreal’s kids — Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki are vital along with Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Montreal needs these kids to attack the defense of Tampa Bay and often. They, along with Tyler Toffoli, need to show the way.
Tampa Bay getting shorter NHL Picks odds
Earlier this postseason, Tampa Bay had a bit of value for the NHL Stanley Cup title. Now, Tampa Bay is a favorite without a doubt.
Once upon a time, the Lightning was +600 entering the postseason. Now, they hold -1250 odds to be crowned repeat Stanley Cup champions.
Montreal sticks to defensive style with dash of offense
Now, Montreal has the all-world goaltending of Carey Price and he needs to play like it at home on Friday night. He is more than capable of doing so.
Also, the Montreal Canadiens must keep sticking with what has worked and must hope for more timely goal scoring. The Canadiens must play physical but they have to get to the middle of the ice. When they do this via their transition play, Montreal is the most effective. With the last line change, they should have a good chance to win Game 3.
Our Game 3 Bet for NHL Picks…
Take the Montreal Canadiens to cover the moneyline.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
Chris Wassel is a writer who enjoys many sports disciplines but his first love will always be hockey. That love of hockey spawned from a greater appreciation of numbers resulted in diving into sports betting. He has written articles on various sites for years focusing on betting and naturally NHL picks.