Free NHL Pick: Canadiens vs. Lightning Betting Lines & Preview

Canadiens vs Lightning Pick

The Montreal Canadiens are clawing for their playoff lives Thursday night, on the second leg of back-to-back games in Florida vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

NHL Predictions

Montreal vs Tampa Bay
Date/Time: Thursday, May 7 2015, 7 pm EST
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa FL
Broadcast: NBCSN
Montreal, Tampa Bay (no odds yet listed)
Over/Under: Currently not yet listed
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The home team Bolts broke Montreal’s back with a super-clutch goal by the diminutive Tyler Johnson with less than a second left in regulation of Game 3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the best of seven.

Coach Michel Therrien and the Habs are just looking to grab some semblance of respect in this series on Thursday night.

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Last night’s game was a nail-biting 1-1 draw for the duration, until literally the final instant when a red-hot Johnson scored his eighth of the postseason to give Tampa Bay a stranglehold on the series.

Montreal and its rabid fans already had their tail between their legs after dropping two straight at the Bell Centre, including Game 2’s embarrassing 6-2 defeat.

For whatever reason, Tampa Bay has just had Montreal’s number of late. Maybe you needn’t look further than Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, who is 13-1-2 career against the Habs.

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Rather ironic, as the Canadiens have the best goaltender in the business in Carey Price. Montreal’s netminder is slated to win the Vezina Trophy (best goalie) and probably the Hart Trophy as well (league MVP).

It hasn’t mattered in the 2015 East quarterfinal, however.

Montreal has character guys like superstar defenseman P.K. Subban and Brandon Prust, who has already landed in hot water in the series after verbally lambasting referee Brad Watson after Game 2.

On top of everything else, the last thing the Habs need is further distractions.

Montreal will do everything it can to just extend the series and bring it back to French Canada. After despatching the Ottawa Senators in the first round, there was a palpable sense that Montreal could ride Price to a deep run this year.

After last night, that outcome is all but impossible.

Johnson has been huge for the Bolts, and scoring sensation Steven Stamkos is also heating up after a quiet first round performance, where the sniper was perhaps nursing an unspecified injury.

Bishop has come up huge and Tampa Bay has also utilized lion-hearted play from Ondrej Palat and new defenseman Braydon Coburn to be in the favorable position it is in.

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To have any chance, Montreal must find a way to solve Bishop several times. As good as Price is, the Lightning have the weapons to get on the scoresheet multiple times, so one or two goals from the Habs won’t cut it for the visitors.

David Desharnais should be back for le bleu, blanc et rouge, but it seems like closing the barn door after the animals have long escaped.

All the explosive play in the world from Subban likely won’t save Montreal now.

Though the cliche is so overused and worn-out it is painful, the Canadiens have no choice but to take it one game at a time.

4* FREE NHL Pick: Tampa Bay 3, Montreal 2

I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that the Montreal Canadiens’ playoff run will be finished in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

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By James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!