NHL Picks of the Day: Take Lightning -155 vs. Canadiens

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 1:36 PM GMT

The Montreal Canadians showed what they were made of in game 5 with a 2-1 victory behind the outstanding goalending of Carey Price and move on to live another day. 

Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The NHL betting odds list the Lightning as a -155 betting favorite at home and the total for the game is 5 goals. I know that the Lightning have a clear advantage in this series, but they're facing possibly the best goalie in the NHL in Carey Price.

 

The Price is Right?
How do you ignore 44-14-6 in the regular season with a 1.96 GAA and .933 SV%? Let's not also forget that the Canadians have outscored the Lightning 8-3 in their last 2 games. I think the betting odds are definitely extreme and the Canadians have a good shot at taking this series back to Montreal for a 7th game.

From a Lightning perspective, Ben Bishop came back strong in game 5, allowing 2 goals in 27 shots after a rough game 4 in which he had to be lifted due to poor play. He must come back strong in this game or Montreal can flip the script in a hurry.

 

Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban
Montreal relied upon this tandem in the regular season and now they must get production out of the left winger and defenseman in game 6.

Pacioretty has been the top goal scorer for the Habs in the regular season and nothing has changed as he leads Montreal with 4 goals and 2 assists in 10 games, 1 of those goals being a shorthanded goal. Subban has been very physical in the playoffs and the perfect setupman as he leads the Canadians in post-season points (8) and assists (7).

Montreal can also get unexpected assistance from role players such as P.A. Parenteau. Parenteau scored a big goal in game 5 and has back to back games with a point against the Lightning. 

Here's an updated Look at Stanley Cup Betting Odds for Remaining Playoffs Teams

Scoring Hasn't Been An Issue For TB
In the regular season, the Lightning led the league in goals at 3.2 per game. Even though they're in control of this series, scoring has been much more difficult as they're facing the best netminder in the game in Carey Price. The Lightning have only managed 5 goals in their last 3 games and this is definitely something to be concerned about as they face Carey Price.

 

Tyler Johnson
Even though Johnson led the Lightning in points this season, I look at Steven Stamkos as the go to guy. This hasn't been the case as Johnson has dominated this series.

Johnson leads the Lightning with 8 goals and 4 assists in 12 games in the playoffs. He's also played very well against the Canadians in this series except for game 5. Johnson has 2 goals and 3 assists in this series and even has a goal with 1 second left in game 3 to his credit that lifted Tampa Bay to it's 3rd win.

Montreal has come back strong and Tampa Bay doesn't want to see this game go back to Canada.

The Lightning have dominated this series and although Carey Price does scare me, I'm going to side with the Lightning at home. Make this a small NHL pick as Price can easily make this game go back to Montreal if he puts forth a top-notch effort.

NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -155 at 5Dimes

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