Free Stanley Cup Picks: Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 4 Predictions
The Boston Bruins have won back to back games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now, the two are going to be back at it again on Saturday afternoon in what should be a fantastic duel in Game 4 at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Give the Bruins a whole heck of a lot of credit for finding ways to beat the NHL betting lines against Tampa Bay two nights ago. Whereas Games 1 and 2 were played at a frantic pace, this one was slowed down dramatically, something that really ended up playing into Boston’s hands. Tim Thomas put on a great display on Thursday night, stopping all 31 shots that he faced in the victory, his first truly dominating effort in this series. However, we know that he has played a heck of a lot better than nine goals allowed in the first two games of this series suggested, and it was really only a matter of time until he showed up. The quick start has really been key in this series, as the team that has scored the first goal has gone on to go 2-1, with the only loss coming in Game 2 for the Lightning. Even in that outing, the Bruins arguably had the better first period of the two teams in spite of the fact that they trailed 2-1 going into the intermission. Keep an eye on Patrice Bergeron, who came back into the lineup in Game 3 after missing the first two games with a concussion for the B’s.
All in all, the Lightning really just have to play a heck of a lot cleaner game to be able to best the Bruins. They just didn’t play all that well in Game 3, and Head Coach Guy Boucher has been very quick to point that out. Men like Steven Stamkos really need to step up to be able to win this series. The Stammer has been a -2 in this series in spite of the fact that he had a goal and two assists in Game 2′s loss. In fact, he hasn’t had a game in which he finished with a positive +/- since the April 23rd Game 5 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins that essentially changed the course of the postseason for the Lightning. The good news though, is that the team has scored at least four goals in seven of the 10 games since that point, and we should look at that as the rule instead of Thursday’s shutout as a sign of things to come. Dwayne Roloson really hasn’t had an awful game in net in the postseason in spite of the fact that he was pulled in Game 2 after allowing five goals in the second period.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick: As long as the Lightning just keep up their ethic, they’re going to be able to strike back in this series. We’re a believer that this series is going the distance, and if it does, this is a spot in which Tampa Bay just has to win. Roloson gets back on his feet and posts his first truly dominating effort of the series, outdueling Thomas in net. Go with the Lightning -120.