Canadiens vs Lightning Game 5 Picks and Predictions: No Place Like Home

The Bolts couldn't put the Habs away in Game 4, but now get a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup on home ice. Coming in as large NHL betting favorites, find out if Tampa can go back-to-back as champs with our Canadiens vs. Lightning picks.

Posted: Jul 7, 2021 8:18 AM ET Updated: Jul 7, 2021 5:23 PM ET Est Time: 5 min
Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Stanley Cup Final
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning missed a chance to eliminate the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, but thanks to racing out to a 3-0 series lead, there’s still plenty of time to get the job done.

The Bolts had lost six games in the postseason before Monday’s defeat but have won each of those following games, which includes four shutouts. The Tampa Bay mayor wanted this, and she could possibly get it.

Here are our free picks and predictions for Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning for Wednesday, July 7.

Canadiens vs Lightning game info

Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay, FL
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBC, Sportsnet, NBC

Canadiens vs Lightning odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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NHL sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

Tampa Bay opened -215 late Monday night and is out to -240 as of 5 p.m. ET today at William Hill US. Ticket count is 3/1 and money 2/1 on the Lightning, even though there’s a $64,500 bet in New Jersey on Canadiens +200, to win $129,000. The total is at 5 (Over -130), with 77 percent of bets/87 percent of money on the Over.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Canadiens vs Lightning series odds

Canadiens: +1,600
Lightning: -5,000

Canadiens vs Lightning betting preview

Injuries

Canadiens: None
Lightning: Alex Killorn F (questionable)
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 25-8-9 in Canadiens’ last 42 playoff games as an underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Canadiens vs. Lightning.

Moneyline pick

Well, this is awkward. We put a lot of our eggs into the Lightning’s basket in Game 4 and came up short, as the Habs won 3-2 in overtime. MoneyPuck had Tampa winning that game 82.4 percent of the time over 1,000 simulations, as they had 4.36 xgoals compared to Montreal’s 1.9. It was a game that was statically dominated by the road team, who outshot the Canadiens 34-21 and had 70 shot attempts compared to Montreal’s 42.

The Game 4 loss pushed Tampa Bay from a -50,000 favorite to win the series to a -5,000 favorite. This is still the better team, but the Bolts are now 0-4 SU in the first game of elimination (beyond Round 2) since last season. 

So where did Game 4 go wrong for the Stanley Cup favorites? Like most Montreal wins, it all comes down to the play of Carey Price, and the Canadian netminder was at his best on Monday.

Price finished Game 4 with an absurd 2.36 goals saved above expected, which was his highest total of the entire playoffs. The Canadiens’ 4.32 expected goals against was their highest allowed through 21 playoff games this postseason. Montreal needed Price to steal a game for them and he did. However, he also came into the game with a sub-.850 save percentage, as Tampa has had its way with the goalie through the series’ first three games. The Bolts are averaging Over 4.00 goals per game at Amalie Arena this postseason and outscored Montreal 8-2 in the series’ first two games in Florida. 

Montreal finally played with the lead in Game 4 which was the first time it had all series long — over 240 minutes. Montreal managed two leads throughout Game 4’s victory but allowed the Bolts to tie it up both times. This was the first time that the Lightning had to play from behind and they showed they aren’t just a team that leads wire to wire. If John Cooper’s team falls behind Wednesday, we feel much more confident with its showing in Game 4. 

The Canadiens needed an other-worldly performance from Josh Anderson Monday and the former fourth-rounder delivered. But one thing Montreal fans know is the inconsistencies in Anderson’s game. The winger is loaded with size and speed but struggles to string good performances together and can frustrate the fanbase at times with his tantalizing skillset. 

Finally, the Habs were bailed out by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had his third straight game with a low-danger goal. The OT winner was also not a pretty winner and had a lot to do with some poor defending, but Vas did not win the game like he has shown he can in the previous series. He has not lost back-to-back games all postseason and three of his four shutouts have come after a loss in these playoffs. 

All 15 of Tampa’s 2021 playoff wins have come in regulation.

PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 3-way ML (-130)

Over/Under pick

Even with Over 6.00 expected goals, Game 4 pushed the closing total of 5. That’s because, like the other games in the series, one of these two goalies is going to stand on their respective heads. On Monday, it was Price. Over backers still didn’t cash, even with Vasilevskiy not at his best. If Price is going to put the first three games of the series behind him, we could be looking at some low-scoring hockey.

Heading into the series, both goaltenders were No. 1 and No. 2 in playoff save percentage and GAA (excluding Jack Campbell — sorry Leafs fans). It has been four games and we have yet to see both netminders stand tall. Could Game 5 be that game? We like the chances after Price shook off the cobwebs Monday and put the team on his back like he has all playoffs. 

The Lightning and Vasilevskiy had lost six games previously to Monday’s 3-2 OT defeat. They've followed that up by allowing just eight goals over the six following games, which equates to 1.33 goals against/game, and Vas is 6-0 SU with a 0.950 save percentage after a defeat in the 2021 playoffs. 

Looking at special teams which play a significant part in the Over/Under process, we see that both teams have had just 19 combined power plays over the series’ first four games. In total, there have been three extra-strength goals in this series which equates to a 16 percent success rate. Tampa was scoring at will on the power play before this series and Montreal has done a wonderful job at shutting it down.

A push feels like a win when backing the Under 5, but here we are again for the fifth-straight time this series.

PREDICTION: Under 5 (+105)

Prop pick

In Tampa’s last series, we backed Vasilevskiy for a shutout in Game 6 when Tampa was up 3-2 and the Bolts lost. But the Lightning goalie blanked the Islanders in Game 7 and made us some unhappy campers as we didn't play the shutout prop for a second straight night. We aren’t getting fooled twice in back-to-back series.

Vasilevskiy has four shutouts in the postseason, which leads all playoff goaltenders. Three of those blankings have come after a loss. The Lightning netminder has only lost seven games, one of which was Monday's OT defeat. So, Vas has posted a shutout in 67 percent of games after a loss in these playoffs. 

We still think goalie shutouts are a mispriced market and have no problem laying some money on a +700 on the best goalie in the playoffs.

PREDICTION: Andrei Vasilvelskiy to record a shutout (+700)

Canadiens vs Lightning betting card

  • Tampa Bay 3-way ML (-130)
  • Under 5 (+105)
  • Andrei Vasilvelskiy to record a shutout (+700)

Picks made on 7/6/2021 at 11:00 p.m. ET

NHL parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canadiens vs. Lightning picks, you could win $280.15 on a $10 bet?

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