NHL Picks: Lighting vs. Canadiens Game 3

David Lawrence

Saturday, April 19, 2014 4:12 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Lightning are in a hole. They’ve lost the first two games of their opening round series with Montreal and now have to go on the road. Game 3 is must-win territory for the Lightning.

The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
They’ll get Ben Bishop back. That’s about the only way. He’s missed the first two games of this series and unless the Lightning can get their MVP back, it looks like it’s lights out for them

Bishop’s status is still in question, so keep your eyes on the news wires. He took some shots in practice on Friday and is getting closer to returning. If he comes back, he’ll give Tampa Bay a big boost both on the ice and mentally, and that’s exactly the shot in the arm they need.


The Montreal Canadiens Can Win Because…
Their offense is one fire. At this point, we can’t assume anything with Bishop but if it’s Anders Lindback in net for Game 3 again, Tampa Bay is in trouble. Although he’s played pretty good, through two games, he’s given up nine goals. That’s simply not good enough. 

The Habs are very confident right now. They stole both games in Tampa Bay but more so than just taking away home-ice advantage, they know they’re the better team. They’re healthier, they’re deeper and they’re more experienced. Bishop might return but he can’t cure all of their woes. The Habs should get Game 3 and earn a chokehold in this series.


Outlook & Pick
It’s hard to take Tampa Bay with your NHL picks unless Bishop is back. Even if he is, it’s hard to see them winning given that they couldn’t take care of business at home. The Habs have the edge almost everywhere on the ice and now they get to play at home where they were 23-13-5 this season. 

The juice is high with the Habs, so I’ll take the under. The Lightning have to protect their goaltenders; that’s the priority. That should turn this into a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Under 5 at Bodog

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