There’s just something about New Rochelle, New York. A couple of years ago, I was visiting my in-laws just outside the city, and we were all sitting around the pool relaxing. In the middle of the day, I noticed that we were listening to a local radio station—and the station was taking requests!
I called the station and was a bit surprised when the disk jockey answered immediately to ask what I wanted to hear. Sports bettors understand critical moments like this. You have to make a decision quickly, and you have to nail it.
“Can you play ‘Caribbean Queen’ by Billy Ocean?” I blurted. There was a pause and then an empathic response from the deejay: “Absolutely.” Within five minutes, the song was blaring on the pool speakers as I basked in my clutch moment.
Perhaps that’s not as impressive as Kevin Shattenkirk drilling an overtime power play goal to move his team within a victory of the Stanley Cup, but then, the Bolts defender is from New Rochelle, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.
Here are our best NHL picks and predictions for tonight’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The puck drops at 8:00 ET at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Dallas Stars vs Tampa Bay Lightning betting preview
Stars: Anton Khudobin – playoffs – 13-9, 2.81 GAA, .915 SV% (season – 16-8, 2.22 GAA, .930 SV%)
Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy - playoffs – 17-6, 1.96 GAA, .926 SV% (season – 35-14, 2.56, .917 SV%)
Khudobin is a big part of the reason why the Stars are here in the first place, but his performance has tailed off considerably. He gave up five goals on 35 shots on Friday and has allowed 13 goals in his last three games. There’s no sign that Ben Bishop is going to miraculously return between the pipes, so it’s Khudobin or bust for Dallas.
It’s rare to catch Vasilevskiy on a bad night, and the Stars wasted a chance to take advantage of it. The Tampa Bay netminder allowed four goals on 30 shots, and Dallas has gone 1-8 with the extra man in the past two games. Even more concerning, the Stars’ top line still hasn’t scored a goal on Vasilevskiy in this series.
Stars: Taylor Fedun D (day-to-day), Radek Faksa C (day-to-day), Blake Comeau LW (ques), Ben Bishop G (out), Stephen Johns D (out), Roman Polak D (out), Martin Hanzal D (out)
Lightning: Zach Bogosian D (ques), Steven Stamkos C (ques)
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Betting Trend to Know
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Lightning vs Stars NHL odds movement
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If the Stars have any chance of staying in his series, they’ve got to stay out of the box. The Lightning are absolutely punishing Dallas with the extra man, going 3-4 on Friday night--which included Shattenkirk’s overtime snipe.
The Stars switched up their lines in Game 4, and it paid off with four goals, but the Bolts won’t be caught off guard on Saturday. It’s been a valiant effort from the Stars, but this Lightning team is 43-16 in their last 59 games. They’ve been running roughshod over the NHL for a while, and they’re about to be rewarded with the sport’s ultimate prize.
PREDICTION: Lightning ML (-160)
There’s no way the Stars are going to win three straight games against this supercharged Lightning team, and Dallas has to be reeling after a crushing overtime loss. A fresh Steven Stamkos should return in Game 5, and I think Tampa hits the gas and wins big. The Over is 17-6-3 in the last 26 games between these two teams.
PREDICTION: Over 5 (-141)
This group of Lightning players is finally about to capture the championship that has eluded them. I’m betting on them coming out quickly in the first period and closing the door on Dallas. The Bolts win the Cup, and we get to make some money on them in the process. Now we’re sharing the same dream.
PREDICTION: Lightning first period ML (+144)
Stars vs Lightning Betting Card
- Lightning ML (-160)
- Over 5 (-141)
- Lightning first period ML (+144)
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