Boston continues to grow in favor with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. Tampa Bay was lit up in a 6-2 loss to the Bruins to open their Eastern Conference semifinal series. “You are not in playoff trouble until you lose a game at home.” So goes the venerable old NHL adage. And the Lightning are now in trouble. A loss in game two means going to Boston down 0-2. They may not get out alive in that scenario. But success is no sure thing against the battle tested B’s. Tampa Bay hasn’t looked anywhere near dominant for over a month.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 2
Date and Time: Monday, April 30, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Bruins||+1½ (-225)||6 (-110)|
|Lightning||-1½ (+185)||6 (-110)|
Bruins vs. Lightning Game 2 TV Coverage: NBCSN
Game 1 Recap
Monday’s second game at Tampa Bay will be followed by two games in Boston. If necessary game five would return to Amalie Arena. Game six would be in Beantown. A seventh game would be on Lightning home ice. Tampa Bay is no longer a big favorite with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. Although they outshot Boston 36-24 in game one those numbers are deceiving. Quality chances clearly belonged to the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron led the B’s with two goals, one assist and a plus four. Brad Marchand added one goal, three assists and a plus four.
One of the best trades at the deadline was Boston getting Rick Nash from the Rangers. Nash had two goals in game one. Beyond that he brings a complete game to the rink. He fulfills important tasks that may not show on the scoresheet. This frees up other Bruins such as Marchand and Bergeron to do their thing. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has proven to be another asset. He schooled Toronto’s highly acclaimed Mike Babcock in the first round. Cassidy is flexible and excellent at adjusting on the fly. That trait bested the stubborn Babcock, especially in game seven.
Tampa Bay is the top seed of the Eastern Conference. Yet over the last month of play they have not looked like it. Instead they have played rather ordinary. And against Boston in game one they were clearly not ready. One notable problem has been center and captain Steven Stamkos. He has just one playoff goal thus far after six games. Defenseman Anton Stralman had an ugly minus four in game one. Blueline quality remains a potential liability for the Lightning.
Team vs. Team
Boston has absolutely dominated this head to head sportsbook series. In the last 11 meetings the Bruins got the money nine times. Just one of the last six matchups in this series went over the total. At Tampa Bay the Bruins have come away with the cash in six of their last seven visits. Just three of the last eight in this matchup at Amalie Arena went over the number.
Matchup to Watch
Calling this a most game for Tampa Bay is not an exaggeration. Yet they remain capable and dangerous with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. With so much at stake the Bolts should have the matchup motivational edge. Beyond that they remain a quality team.
Bruins vs. Lightning NHL Playoff Lines Picks
Tampa Bay should even this series.
NHL Betting Online Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Betting Online Score Prediction: Lightning 3, Bruins 1