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NHL Playoffs 2021: Stanley Cup Scores, Updated Odds and Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJune 21, 2021

Vegas Golden Knights center Nicolas Roy (10) controls the puck next to Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jon Merrill (28) during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Through two periods on Sunday night, it appeared the Vegas Golden Knights may be in some trouble. They trailed the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series, and if they lost, they would have fallen behind 3-1 in the series.

Instead, things are back where these two teams started: all tied up.

The Golden Knights beat the Canadiens 2-1 in overtime, with Nicolas Roy scoring the game-winning goal one minute and 18 seconds into the extra period. Now, Vegas returns home to host Game 5 on Tuesday, and it's guaranteed that the series will go at least six games.

The other Stanley Cup semifinal series is also tied, as the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders have each won two games. The Lightning are set to host Game 5 on Monday, with one team will take control of the series.

Here's everything else you need to know at this point in the postseason.

      

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2nd-Round Results, Schedule

No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens

Game 1: Vegas won 4-1
Game 2: Montreal won 3-2
Game 3: Montreal won 3-2 (OT)
Game 4: Vegas won 2-1 (OT)
Game 5: Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Game 6: Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, USA Network
Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 New York Islanders

Game 1: New York won 2-1.
Game 2: Tampa Bay won 4-2
Game 3: Tampa Bay won 2-1
Game 4: New York won 3-2
Game 5: Monday at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Game 6: Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Game 7 (if necessary): Friday at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

     

Latest Stanley Cup Odds

Vegas Golden Knights: +140 (bet $100 to win $140)

Tampa Bay Lightning: +170

New York Islanders: +500

Montreal Canadiens: +900

Via NHL" target="_blank">DraftKings Sportsbook

      

Predictions

With both semifinal series tied after two games, any of the four remaining teams could be advancing to the Stanley Cup Final and potentially ending the 2020-21 season with a championship victory.

Although things haven't been easy for the Golden Knights and Lightning, the favorites to move on, that doesn't necessarily mean either will get upset. Both will be hosting crucial Game 5 matchups, then they would also have home ice for a potential Game 7.

Because of that, Vegas and Tampa Bay will be advancing to play with the Stanley Cup on the line.

The Golden Knights have been playing well defensively this postseason, and that continued in their Game 4 win, for which they made a switch at goaltender for at least one night. After Marc-Andre Fleury had started most of Vegas' playoff games to this point, Robin Lehner was in the net as the team went for a pivotal series-tying win.

Lehner went on to record 27 saves and allowed only one goal, which came in the second period. The Golden Knights have now allowed three or fewer goals in nine straight games.

"For me, knowing [Lehner], knowing how hard he's worked, knowing the goalie he is, the gamble to play him having not played a lot lately was no bigger than the gamble of playing a fatigued, in my mind, goalie with no rest really on the horizon," Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said, per NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika.

With plenty of scoring options, the Golden Knights should continue to roll if they keep playing this well defensively, whether they send Fleury or Lehner to the net. Either way, Vegas will go on to win the series, even if it goes a full seven games.

The Lightning will clinch their semifinal series in similar fashion. They've also been strong defensively, having conceded three or fewer goals in five straight games, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a big reason for that.

Tampa Bay is looking to bounce back after allowing New York to even the series in Game 4.

"You have to look ahead, you have to move forward," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said, per NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "Be ready to play a full 60 minutes."

Aiming to repeat as champions, the Lightning will do just that. And they'll go on to face the Golden Knights, who will be seeking the first Cup in the franchise's fourth NHL season.

Prediction: Vegas, Tampa Bay advance to Stanley Cup Final

       


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