If the Tampa Bay Lightning fulfill their NHL betting destiny and end up winning the Stanley Cup this season, no one will ever accuse them of not having earned it.
Just like in their previous series against the New York Islanders, hockey bettors have watched the Bolts battle an opposing team that refuses to go quietly. This time, it’s the Dallas Stars who are providing the resistance, and they deserve full credit for finding a way in Saturday night’s 3-2 double-overtime victory.
If you’re one of those fans who can never get enough hockey, (and what sort of unspeakable person would you be if you felt otherwise), then get ready to saddle up for another battle. Both Tampa and Dallas will get a much-deserved break after rare back-to-back Cup games, and then it’s back at it on Monday night.
Here are our best NHL picks and predictions for Game 6 in Edmonton, where hockey’s greatest prize hangs in the balance. The game is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars betting preview
Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy - playoffs – 17-7, 1.97 GAA, .925 SV%
Stars: Anton Khudobin – playoffs – 14-9, 2.72 GAA, .917 SV%
Vasilevskiy didn’t necessarily match Khudobin save-for-save — the Bolts have outshot the Stars in every game of this series — but he certainly played well enough to win. The 2019 Vezina Trophy winner stopped 30 Dallas shots but could only hold up so long against a Dallas defense that somehow managed to keep Tampa off the board during the extra frames.
Well, well, well, look who decided that his magical run wasn’t over yet! I expected Khudobin to falter in Game 5, based on his disappointing play in Dallas’ three previous games against the Lightning, and the 34-year-old was more than happy to prove me wrong. Not me personally, as if we have some sort of longstanding riff that about which neither of us will ever speak, but you get the idea. Khudobin was fabulous, stopping 39 shots on goal.
Lightning: Steven Stamkos C (Questionable), Zach Bogosian D (Questionable), Luke Schenn D (Questionable)
Stars: Roope Hintz LW (Questionable), Blake Comeau LW (Questionable), Radek Faksa C (Questionable), Taylor Fedun D (Questionable), Ben Bishop G (Out), Stephen Johns D (Out), Roman Polak D (Out), Martin Hanzal D (Out)
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Betting Trend to Know
The Lightning are 8-4 in the last 12 head-to-head meetings. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Lightning vs Stars.
Lightning vs Stars NHL odds movement
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET MONDAY: DraftKings opened the Lightning -162 and stretched to -175 before ticking back to -167, with the Stars a +145 underdog to force Game 7. Moneyline bettors think this ends tonight, though, with 72 percent of tickets and 79 percent of money on Tampa Bay. DraftKings has the total at 5, with the Over juiced to -143, and that's where the action is, with 81 percent of tickets and 88 percent of handle.
Covers Consensus is showing two-way play for Game 6, but the total is showing a decided difference, with 71 percent of picks on Over 5.
Regardless of the result, one thing was clear in Game 5: The Tampa Bay Lightning are the better team.
Sure, that sounds like a bitter hockey bettor who had money on the Bolts (ashamedly points to self), but it’s remarkable that the Lightning were unable to put this game away in the first overtime with the number of chances they were creating.
Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski have been great for Dallas, combining their last six goals, but a full day of rest should revitalize Tampa’s superstars and allow them to hoist the Cup that has eluded them for so long.
PREDICTION: Lightning ML (-160)
Tampa Bay has to feel like the Islanders traded jerseys with the Stars for this series. Once again, the Lightning are facing a proud, defensive-minded team that bested them 3-2 in a double-overtime Game 5 battle.
But the Bolts gathered themselves to win Game 6 in that previous series, and I think they do the same here. The Over is 17-5-4 in the last 26 meetings between these clubs, and that’s the play as the Lightning attempt to close out postseason play.
PREDICTION: Over 5 (-137)
Lightning center Brayden Point has been Tampa’s best player in the bubble — which is saying something considering their slew of superstars — so let’s look for him to score a clutch goal in Game 6 and make us some cash in the process.
PREDICTION: Brayden Point to score (+185)
Lightning vs Stars Betting Card
- Lightning ML (-160)
- Over 5 (-137)
- Brayden Point to score (+185)
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