Dallas is looking to take a 2-0 series lead over Tampa Bay in Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. Underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook, the Stars brought thunder against the Lightning in Game 1 of the NHL Championship series. Continuing a defense-first mantra that features a heavy-hitting style of play, Dallas took a 1-0 series lead with a 4-1 victory on Saturday. Game 2 puck drop is 8 p.m. ET at Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton tonight.
Based on $100 bets, moneyline ($135) and puck line ($51.28) underdog wagers cashed on the Stars' series-opening victory. The over/under was set at 5 goals and all original wagers were returned after game total tickets were graded as a PUSH. Dallas is on a 6-1 ticket-cashing run as spread and straight-up underdogs. Tampa Bay is 5-0 in games following a loss during their first 19 playoff contests. Here is a review of Game 1 action and my Stanley Cup Finals Game 2 play.
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The Hockey News: Dallas Stars Depth Contributes to Game 1 Win
Stanley Cup Finals Pick – September 21, 2020
Dallas at Tampa Bay – 8:00 p.m. ET Rogers Place Arena
Tampa Bay entered the Cup Finals weary and wounded following a rough six-game Eastern Conference Final battle with the New York Islanders. The health of second-leading scorer Brayden Point is a concern. Those were prime factors that tipped the scale toward my Game 1 moneyline play. While Dallas being rusty was a slight concern, the Stars entered this series at near full health after enjoying four days of well-deserved rest.
Neither team had much push on offense in the first period of Game 1 as Dallas had a 5-4 shot advantage. Playing in just his 54th game, with three different teams since the 2015-16 season, Joel Hanley scored his first career NHL goal to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. Yanni Gourde potted his sixth playoff goal for Tampa Bay and the score was 1-1 after the first 20 minutes. Physical play started early as Dallas posted a slim 26-23 hit edge during the first period.
Joel Kiviranta and Jamie Oleksiak both scored their fifth playoff goal and Dallas led 3-1 after two periods. The Stars owned an 18-14 shots-on-goal advantage over the first two frames. The Lightning offense dictated play in the third period as the Bolts blitzed the Stars and posted a huge 22-2 edge in shots. Moving into the top chalk slot, on the Stanley Cup MVP betting board at DraftKings, Anton Khudobin stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced for Dallas.
Despite Tampa Bay's massive shot advantage, an empty-net goal by Jason Dickinson was the only scoring in the final frame. Overall, Game 1 was closer than the 4-1 final score indicates. Heavy hitting contests continue to be a trend as the Lightning owned a slight 56-50 total hit advantage. By comparison, the Stars and Lightning posted 48-37 total combined hits during their two regular season meetings. Dallas won both contests (4-3 and 3-2) in overtime. The Tampa Bay moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook is my Game 2 play.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Game 2 Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (-143)
SI NHL gambling analyst Roy Larking has been posting game day playoff picks since August 3, 2020. His overall record is 46-41 (+1150.48) through Sunday, September 20. 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!