Ahead 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to close out the Stanley Cup Playoffs and hoist the trophy for a second straight year when they face off against the Montreal Canadiens on their own territory. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on NBC. Below, I will be sharing with you my picks and predictions for when these two high-caliber teams hit the ice for game 5.

  • Odds, Spreads, and Lines:
  • Last updated: 9:50 a.m. July 7
  • Moneyline: Canadiens (+195), Lightning (-240)
  • Puckline: Canadiens +1.5 (-143), Lightning -1.5 (+120)
  • Over/Under: 5 (O -130), (U +110)

Injury Report:

No Injuries

Canadiens Journey

Entering this season’s playoffs, the Canadiens had the least amount of points with just 59. To put that number a bit into perspective the Presidents’ Trophy winners Avalanche finished their regular season with 82 points. Clearly, none of that mattered as the Avalanche proceeded to lose in the 2nd round while the Canadiens were on the other side of things, sweeping their opponent.

In the first round, we got a little taste of what was coming our way when the Canadiens defeated the Maple Leafs in seven games. In case you forgot, the Canadiens trailed the Maple Leafs 3 games to 1 in their series before the Canadiens flipped the switch and got rolling. They went on to win the next two games in overtime and rewrite history in their visit to Toronto for game 7 with a 3-1 victory.

After the first round, it was widely understood that the Canadiens were legit with solid goaltending, stellar defense, and a hardworking offense. However, myself along with many others may not have recognized just how legit they really are.

In the second round, the Canadiens were set to lineup against the rolling Jets. In fact, the Jets were just coming off a dominant sweep over the Oilers giving them plenty of time to rest and prepare for their opponent. The Canadiens did the unexpected and dealt the Jets a four-game sweep eliminating them from the playoffs.

Heading to Vegas for the Stanley Cup Semifinals, the Canadiens were still regarded as the outright underdog, even coming off a dominant sweep. People really liked Vegas in this series and rightfully so as their roster checks all the boxes of qualities you aspire for in a playoff team.

Well, none of that mattered to the Canadiens as they emphasized heart and team chemistry. Those have been the two biggest contributing factors to their success this postseason without a doubt. It’s easy to recognize both on and off the ice that the players are rooting for one another. It’s a true pleasure to watch.

Nevertheless, the Canadiens proceeded to defeat the Golden Knights in game 6 to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. The team with the most Stanley Cups in NHL history looks to extend their long list of accomplishments when competing against the defending champions, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick

Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick

Now, the Canadiens find themselves in a deep hole as they travel back to Tampa Bay trailing the Lightning 3-1 in the series. Although the Canadiens are no stranger to this situation, it would come as a real shocker if the Canadiens were able to march back from such a deficit against the defending champs.

I emphasize the words “defending champs” because having won so recently, the Lightning know exactly what it takes to reach their goal, and nothing is going to prevent them from reaching it.

The story of the Lightning playoff run has to be credited to the entire team, but when three individuals play particularly well they’re a lot better off. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman all struggled in game 4 and the team lost 3-2 in overtime. Returning to home ice, I anticipate for those three stars to have a direct impact on the outcome of tonight’s game 5.

With the Stanley Cup on the line, Amalie Arena will be on another level of excitement tonight. It would really surprise me if this series were to head to a game 6. Lightning will repeat tonight.

Free Pick: Lightning -1.5 (+120)

Good Luck!


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