Lightning vs Canadiens NHL Lines, Game Preview & Analysis

Lightning vs Canadiens NHL Lines, Game Preview & Analysis

Written by on April 2, 2019

The Tampa Bay Lightning have clinched the Presidents’ Trophy and really have no reason to care the rest of the regular season. They head out on Tuesday night, with the Montreal Canadiens badly needing the two points for a wild-card spot.

Lightning vs Canadiens NHL Lines, Game Preview & Analysis

Season Series

Tampa leads 3-0. The last meeting was Feb. 16 in Tampa, with the Bolts prevailing 3-0. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves and NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov scored during Tampa Bay’s three-goal third period. Tampa Bay went ahead to stay with two goals 1:25 apart in the third. Kucherov scored at 2:16 and then forced a turnover that led to Yanni Gourde’s 16th at 3:41. Tyler Johnson capped the scoring at 16:46. Carey Price had 34 saves for Montreal. Tampa Bay improved to 8-0-2 in the past 10 games against Montreal.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

Second of a back-to-back for Tampa, which was in Ottawa on Monday. As of Monday, Tampa Bay’s 59 regular season wins are tied for the third most in NHL history. Only two teams all-time in the NHL — 1995-96 Detroit (62) and 1976-77 Montreal (60) — have recorded more wins.

The Lightning need to win their four remaining regular season games to set the NHL record for most wins in a season. Tampa Bay’s 122 points are the sixth most all-time in the NHL and the most since 2005-06 when Detroit registered 124 points. The Lightning’s 27 road wins are tied for the fifth-most all-time in the NHL. The Bolts can match the NHL record for most road wins in a season (31 road wins by 2005-06 Detroit) by sweeping their regular-season ending four-game road trip.

Nikita Kucherov has recorded 39 goals or more in each of the last three seasons and needs one goal to match his career high of 40 goals set in 2016-17. Kucherov is looking to join Steven Stamkos (41) and Brayden Point (40) as 40-goal scorers, which would make the Lightning the 23rd team in NHL history and first since 1995-96 Pittsburgh to feature three players with 40 or more goals.

Kucherov’s goal Saturday came on the power play, giving him 48 power-play points, most this season in the NHL, most in TBL franchise history and most in the NHL since the 2006-07 season when six separate players recorded 48 or more power-play points. Kucherov has led the NHL scoring chase continuously since Dec. 28.

Top defenseman Victor Hedman (upper body) is “doubtful” to return before the end of the regular season, according to coach Jon Cooper. The Lightning hope Hedman will be available for the start of the playoffs. He suffered an upper-body injury on Saturday when his face was hit by the helmet of Washington’s Carl Hagelin.

Team Statistics

  • Goals: 3.97
  • Shots: 32.19
  • PP/PK Percentage: 28.29
  • Goals: 2.71
  • Shots: 31.96
  • PP/PK Percentage: 15.33

Why Bet on Montreal?

Are the Canadiens a safe bet in the NHL lines on Tuesday?

Montreal got a huge win at Winnipeg on Saturday, 3-1. Joel Armia, Jeff Petry and Jordan Weal scored. Armia opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 17:05 mark of the first period. He spent three seasons with the Jets prior to being acquired by Montreal. Armia has 12 goals and 20 points in 54 games this campaign. It’s points in three straight for Petry, bringing the 31-year-old blueliner to a career-high 13 goals on the year with 45 points in 79 games. Weal sealed Montreal’s win with an empty-netter in the final minute of the third frame. He has three goals and eight points in 13 matches with the Canadiens this season.

Coach Claude Julien shortened his bench over the final nine minutes of the game and that’s why the third line — Weal, Armia and Jonathan Drouin — was protecting the lead at the end of the game. Drouin failed to collect a point for the 21st time in his last 23 games, but he played well enough to earn Julien’s trust. After averaging a little more than 12 minutes a game over his last five starts, he was on the ice for 17:57 Saturday. Max Domi and Andrew Shaw were the only forwards to see more ice time.

Carey Price allowed one goal on 24 shots. Price was great in this one, having his shutout busted with 8:36 left in regulation. Price’s record improved to 34-23-6 with a 2.50 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.

Over the weekend, Paul Byron took part in his full practice since suffering a suspected concussion last Tuesday, skating on Montreal’s fourth line beside Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nate Thompson. Byron is still awaiting medical clearance to determine whether or not he can play against the Lightning on Tuesday.

If Columbus wins its final three games against the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, the Jackets would end up with 100 points. If the Carolina Hurricanes win their three matches against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers, they’d finish the season with 99 points. In other words, if they each win their remaining three games, Montreal misses the playoffs. And the Habs have, by far, the toughest schedule of the three.  If Montreal wins all three and both Columbus and Carolina win two of three, Montreal ends with 98 points, Columbus 98, and Carolina 97.

Team Statistics

  • Goals: 3.01
  • Shots: 33.76
  • PP/PK Percentage: 12.61
  • Goals: 2.87
  • Shots: 30.96
  • PP/PK Percentage: 19.25

Lightning vs Canadiens NHL Betting Trends

  • Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 21-4 SU in its last 25 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games
  • Montreal is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Montreal is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Montreal’s last 10 games

Expert NHL Betting Prediction

Canadiens 4, Lightning 3