NHL Stanley Cup Final 2021: Lightning vs. Canadiens Odds Tips, Updated Schedule

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 3, 2021

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) is greeted by teammates after scoring during the third period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals against the Montreal Canadiens, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)
Phelan Ebenhack/Associated Press

Even a change in site couldn't slow the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final. And it sure seems like there's nothing that can stop them from repeating as champions this season.

With a 6-3 road win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 on Friday night, Tampa Bay seized a 3-0 series lead. That means it could be celebrating a Cup victory as soon as Monday, when Game 4 is set to take place in Montreal.

If the Canadiens are going to become the first team from Canada to win the Stanley Cup since they did so in 1993, they will have to reel off four straight victories. While they have pulled off some impressive upsets this postseason, this is their most challenging test yet.

How dominant have the Lightning been? According to ESPN Stats & Info, they are only the fourth team in the expansion era (since 1967-68) to go up 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final without trailing in any of those games, joining the 1968-69 and 1976-77 Canadiens and 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings.

Here's everything else you need to know at this point in the Stanley Cup Final.


Stanley Cup Final Results, Schedule

Game 1: Tampa Bay 5, Montreal 1
Game 2: Tampa Bay 3, Montreal 1
Game 3: Tampa Bay 6, Montreal 3
Game 4: 8 p.m. ET Monday, NBC
Game 5 (if necessary): 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, NBC
Game 6 (if necessary): 8 p.m. ET Friday, NBC
Game 7 (if necessary): 7 p.m. ET July 11, NBC


Stanley Cup Odds

Tampa Bay Lightning: -5000 (bet $5,000 to win $100)

Montreal Canadiens: +1700 (bet $100 to win $1,700)

Via DraftKings Sportsbook


At this point, betting on the Lightning won't yield decent winnings. Considering they have been the favorite since before the series started, it would have been wise to wager on them before Game 1.

Still, it's not a smart investment to back the Canadiens to come back and win the Cup. Only one team has overcome a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final: the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs, who completed the incredible comeback against the Detroit Red Wings.

The biggest question is whether the Lightning are going to sweep the Canadiens. They have outscored the Habs 14-5, and they are excelling at both ends of the ice.

"I know how fun it was last year when we won, so I want to do that again," Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson said, per NHL.com's Sean Farrell. "You don't know how many chances you're going to get, and any time you get this close, you really feel it. I think winning last year makes you even want to win it more, and I think everyone kind of feels that way."

The Bolts could have four chances to close out the series and repeat as champions. But it's also nothing new for the Habs to be facing adversity. They overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Leafs in the first round, and their opponents have been favored in every round of the postseason.

"Kind of like the whole season, we've been underdogs," Canadiens center Phillip Danault said, per John Wawrow of the Associated Press. "We didn't quit the whole year, no matter what was being said. And I can guarantee that nobody on the team is going to quit now."

If Montreal pulls off the comeback, it would be one of the most impressive in NHL history. And anything is possible in the playoffs, especially with a goaltender such as Carey Price, so it can't be ruled out.

It's just too risky to bet on the Canadiens. In fact, it would be wiser to bet on the Lightning to win Game 4 (-157) and close out the series Monday night. They have so much momentum that they are going to be almost impossible to stop.


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