There are two burning questions prior to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Will Tampa Bay claim their second NHL Championship in franchise history? Will Dallas dig down deep and force a Game 6 on Monday? Based on the results of the last three contests, the Lightning eliminating the Stars appears to be the most likely answer. Possibly the final match, of a crazy 2019-20 NHL season, puck drop is 8:00 p.m. ET at Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton.
Bookmakers are projecting a Bolts victory as Tampa Bay is the chalk side for a fifth straight game at DraftKings Sportsbook. Puck line underdogs and moneyline favorites are both 3-1 through the first four contests. After game total tickets were graded as a PUSH, in the first two contests, OVER was the winning side in the last two games. Our game day picks (4-0) have been on the most profitable side during three of the first four Cup Final contests. The only miss was on the Game 3 puck line when we cashed with the Tampa Bay moneyline.
The Hockey News: Lightning top players are brighter than the Stars
Stanley Cup Finals Pick – September 26, 2020
Dallas at Tampa Bay – 8:00 p.m. ET Rogers Place Arena
Playing on back-to-back nights, to avoid clashing with NFL Week 3 Sunday action, Dallas looks to stave off elimination against Tampa Bay tonight. Producing better numbers, across the board, the Lightning have been the superior team throughout the Cup Finals. That includes the Bolts 4-1 loss in Game 1 as Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 36-20 in that contest. A 35 save performance by goaltender Anton Khudobin helped the Stars open this series with 1-0 lead.
Since then, the Lightning have outscored the Stars by a 13-8 combined count and Tampa Bay has a 98-83 shots on goal advantage during three straight wins. Dallas has been their own worst enemy as the Stars have given the Lightning 12 power play opportunities over the last three games. That was OK when the Bolts were on a 0-14 run with a man-advantage. Tampa Bay potted two power play goals in Game 2, one in Game 3 and three during Game 4.
That includes the overtime winning goal last night. Stars captain Jamie Benn took a tripping penalty, 5:10 into extra time, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game winner to give the Lightning a 5-4 victory. Although Dallas didn’t like the call – Benn had his elbow in the throat of Tyler Johnson and muscled him to the ice. After eight Tampa Bay players recorded at least one point during Game 3 the Lightning depth was on full display as the number jumped to ten last night.
Goaltending has been an issue for both teams. It’s more of a factor for defensive minded Dallas as the Stars don’t have enough firepower to keep pace with the Lightning offense. Heading into Game 2, Khudobin had allowed 9 goals on 197 shots during his previous six starts. That propelled Khudobin to top favorite on the Stanley Cup MVP betting board at DraftKings. He’s not there any longer after allowing 13 goals on 95 shots during three straight losses.
Depth on offense has been heavily slanted in favor of Tampa Bay during the last three contests. In addition to a potent power play – the Lightning roll out three lines that are all scoring goals. Andrei Vasilevskiy has allowed 11 goals on 103 shots for the Lightning. His 2.75 goals against average has been good enough since the Bolts offense is scoring 3.5 goals per game. Possibly aided by an empty net goal, my lean is towards OVER on the game total that's posted at 5 goals. Tampa Bay claiming the Cup, and covering the puck line at DraftKings, is my official Game 5 play.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+163)
SI NHL Gambling analyst Roy Larking has been posting game day playoff picks since August 3, 2020. His overall record is 49-41 (+1354.03) through Friday, September 25. While all picks are carefully researched – predicting the future is not always easy. Bettors are encouraged to explore a variety of NHL information prior to placing any wagers. Bet smart and good luck!
There are two burning questions prior to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Will Tampa Bay claim their second NHL Championship in franchise history? Will Dallas dig down deep and force a Game 6 on Monday? Based on the results of the last three contests, the Lightning eliminating the Stars appears to be the most likely answer. Possibly the final match, of a crazy 2019-20 NHL season, puck drop is 8:00 p.m. ET at Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton. Subscribe for full article
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