NHL Stanley Cup Final 2021: Lightning vs. Canadiens Game 4 Odds, Schedule, PickJuly 4, 2021
Only one game stands between the Tampa Bay Lightning and a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship...but the Final isn't over yet.
The Lightning went up 3-0 in the series against the Montreal Canadiens with a decisive 6-3 win in Game 3 in Montreal, the Canadiens' first home game of the series.
Montreal will host Game 4 as well, but it'll be playing for its championship lives. History doesn't favor teams that go down 3-0; only four teams in NHL history have come back from that deficit. (And only the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs won it all after trailing 3-0 in the Final.) The Bolts are looking to become the first team to sweep the Final since 1998.
Repeating, on the other hand, isn't nearly as rare. The last team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups was the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17.
Let's take a look at the remaining series schedule and dive deeper into what to watch for in Game 4 as well as pick a winner.
Stanley Cup Final Remaining Schedule
Game 4: Monday, July 5; 8 p.m. ET; Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, NBC
*Game 5: Wednesday, July 7; 8 p.m. ET; NBC, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports
*Game 6: Friday, July 9; 8 p.m. ET; Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, NBC
*Game 7: Sunday, July 11; 7 p.m. ET; NBC, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports
Lightning @ Canadiens Game 4
Odds: Lightning -1.5
Odds via DraftKings
If you're looking to get in a wager against the spread, take the Canadiens at +1.5 Monday night. If you're looking for a "sure thing," or as close to it as sports betting can offer, go with the Lightning.
Even outside the Final, Tampa Bay has been dominant against Montreal dating back to last season. Tampa Bay has won seven straight games against Montreal and five of its last six at the Bell Centre. Now, the Canadiens didn't make it to the Final on sheer luck alone; Montreal won five of its last seven home games. But falling to the Lightning 6-3 was an inauspicious way to open its stretch on home soil.
If Tampa Bay takes care of business Monday night, it will be due in large part to stalwart goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He made 32 saves in Game 3 to increase his win tally against the Canadiens to 11 straight games since February 2018.
The Lightning are also getting uneven production from their blue line. Defensemen have tallied three goals and six assists so far in the series. In Game 3 alone, four defensemen scored at least one point to total two goals and three assists. Alternate captain Victor Hedman had a goal and an apple, Jan Rutta added another score, and Erik Cernak and David Savard each had an assist.
"For us as a 'D' it's always nice to get on the score sheet even if it's not our main goal," Rutta said, per Dan Rosen of NHL.com. "It's a good confidence boost. Especially for those point shots, you've got to give credit to the forwards, just giving us the puck and going to the net, to those hard areas to take the goalie's eyes away so we can score."
There's no question Montreal's situation behind the bench has hamstrung the Habs. Coach Dominique Ducharme was in isolation for two weeks after a positive COVID-19 test in the semifinals against the Vegas Golden Knights, missing six games in all. The Canadiens went 3-3 with assistant coach Luke Richardson at the helm.
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