You won’t find a more exciting series in NHL betting action than what we have seen over the course of the first two games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins. The two will meet in a crucial Game 3 on Thursday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Bruins finally came alive on the power play in Game 2, accounting for a pair of strikes with the man advantage after having just one strike in the first two rounds of the playoffs combined. At least this time around, Head Coach Claude Julien knows that he won’t have to worry about becoming the second team in NHL history to win a series without scoring a power play goal… After all, it was his Bruins two rounds ago that were the first to do it. The only real concern has to be the play of Tim Thomas in net. He had a significantly better game than five goals allowed suggests he had in Game 2, as Tampa Bay clearly had more chances on this night and couldn’t take advantage of nearly all of them. Still, Thomas really just hasn’t looked like himself during this whole postseason, and if he doesn’t figure out how to step his game up even higher than he has already been playing at, the Bruins are going to be in a boatload of trouble, knowing that they have to win a game here at the St. Pete Times Forum at some point to win this series.
The last time that the Lightning had lost an NHL betting battle before two nights ago in Game 2 was back in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bolts have won all three of their home games since that point, and they had rolled off eight consecutive victories in the interim. The team played well enough offensively to get the job done, but the defense was certainly lacking in Game 2. Head Coach Guy Boucher knows that this game really got out of hand in terms of the tempo, and things need to slow down to better suit what the Lightning are trying to accomplish. Give Tampa Bay credit, though. From down 6-3 in the second period, it could have really just folded up shop and walked out of Beantown content with a split. Instead, it fought back, beat Thomas twice, and darn near completed the comeback. We know that Dwayne Roloson hadn’t really had a terrible game in the postseason, and he was due. That five goal second period sent him to the bench for the first time in this series. He should be significantly better on this night.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick: Tonight, we tend to believe will belong to the goaltenders. If that’s the case, we know that Roli is the hotter keeper, but Thomas is the man that we would really rather back. The Bruins are now 4-1 in the five starts this year against the Lightning with their Vezina Trophy Finalist in net, and at this price of the Bruins +120, we just can’t pass on them.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.