Canadiens vs. Lightning Live Stream, TV Schedule, Odds and Pre-Game 5 Comments

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 7, 2021

Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) and right wing Barclay Goodrow (19) celebrate with center Blake Coleman (20) after his goal on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) during the second period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)
Phelan Ebenhack/Associated Press

After failing to capture the Stanley Cup on Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning will again look to do so on Wednesday night. And this time, they'll have home-ice advantage, meaning a raucous crowd at Amalie Arena will be hoping to celebrate by the end of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

However, if the Lightning are going to repeat as champions, they'll need to put away the Montreal Canadiens, who have shown they're not losing this series without a fight. Despite dropping the first three games (including Game 3 in Montreal), the Habs bounced back with a 3-2 overtime win at home in Game 4.

Still, there's only been one team to ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win the Stanley Cup Final (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs). So the Canadiens will need to make history if they hope to win their first Cup since 1993. But Montreal is 4-0 when facing elimination this postseason, so perhaps it can finish its underdog run with an improbable comeback.

Here's everything else you need to know heading into Wednesday's Game 5 matchup.


Game 5 Information

Date: Wednesday, July 7

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET


Live Stream: NBC Sports app



Spread: Tampa Bay (-1.5)

Over/Under: 5 total goals

Moneyline: Tampa Bay -230 (bet $230 to win $100); Montreal +195 (bet $100 to win $195)


Preview, Comments

There weren't many people expecting the Canadiens to come back in this series after losing the first three games. After one win, that likely hasn't changed much. The Lightning are a deep, talented team, and not only that, but they get to host Game 5 and a potential Game 7.

But Montreal is used to surprising people this postseason. It overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. It swept the Winnipeg Jets in the second round. And it took down the Vegas Golden Knights, one of the favorites to win it all, in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The Habs may have only won one game on Monday. But they're ready to keep trying to come back.

"I think you look at the playoffs as a whole and there's ups and downs and peaks and valleys, momentum shifts here, momentum shifts there," Montreal forward Corey Perry said, per NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger. "You just have to be ready to play that next game. You know they're going to be playing at their best. So you have to come out, you have to have energy, you have to be confident, you have to play to win and not to lose, and that's kind of will be my message to the guys tomorrow."

During the first three rounds, the Canadiens won games on the strength of their defense. Goaltender Carey Price was having a stellar postseason, and he was making it difficult for opposing teams to get any pucks in the net.

Then, Price looked quite beatable in the first three games against the Lightning, who scored 14 total goals during that stretch. Not only did they not have trouble scoring against Price, but their own goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, played exceptionally well on the other end of the ice.

That continues to be the case for Vasilevskiy, who has allowed only eight goals through the first four games of the series. And he held the Canadiens to two regulation goals in Game 4, before Josh Anderson scored the game-winner three minutes, 57 seconds into overtime.

But Price stepped up his game in that contest. If he keeps playing like that, perhaps Montreal will seize the momentum and make this a more competitive series.

However, Tampa Bay also knows it missed an opportunity in failing to sweep the series. It wants to end things before having to go back to Montreal for a potential Game 6.

"You've got to win one more and you're going into obviously a place you're familiar with, with a fanbase that's going to be behind us, and we've got to go out there and give it our best effort and try to win one hockey game," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said, per NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.

The Lightning may not have been successful in Game 4, but they'll look to turn the page quickly. That could be the key to whether they can bounce back in Game 5.

"We have to have a short memory," Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli said, per Gulitti. "You know the game happened, you know they got their goal, and we didn't and now we're going back home, and we have an opportunity, again."

But Montreal has a chance to deny Tampa Bay a championship celebration again. And despite the pressure they're facing, the Canadiens aren't viewing it like that.

"It's just hockey," Perry said, per Zeisberger. "Have fun, be prepared to work. But at the end of the day, it's just hockey and have fun."

The Canadiens will have plenty of fun if they can notch another win and keep their season going. But even if they lose, they still defied most expectations by making it this deep into the postseason.


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