Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Preview, Score & Results

Frank Doyle | Updated Oct 04, 2017

PK Subban

Frank Doyle has previews and predictions for all of the NHL playoffs’ opening-round matchups. This time he breaks down the Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning. See all of Sports Interaction’s NHL odds here.

Odds: Canadiens -134, Lightning -106

Montreal Canadiens:

The Canadiens knew they would almost certainly face the Lightning for the past two weeks, so there has been plenty of time to prepare for the Lightning. Montreal will go as far as Carey Price will carry the team. He posted a .927 save percentage with six shutouts during the regular season. The Habs lean on Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban and Thomas Vanek for the majority of their offensive production, which could be concerning in this series. Pacioretty scored 39 times this year but was held point less in the last three games of the season. He’s extremely streaky. Vanek had 15 points in 18 games after coming over to Montreal at the trade deadline but has just two goals in his last 11 games. Subban hasn’t scored in 19 games and has only three points in his last 10 while spending some more time in Michel Therrien’s doghouse down the stretch.

Other NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Series Previews and Picks

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Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues

Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Tampa Bay has been an incredible story. The Lightning lost Steven Stamkos for more than half the season and traded away captain Martin St. Louis at the deadline while still managing to cruise to a second-place finish in the Atlantic. The Lightning have four 20-goal scorers and four deep, fast forward lines. Tampa was the fourth most profitable team in the league for bettors, earning its supporters more than 15 units. The Lightning earned home-ice advantage in the last day of the regular season and that could play a big role in this series. Tampa Bay suffered just 10 regulation losses on home ice this year and closed out the season with four straight wins – three of which came at home.

Key factors:

The Lightning are dealing with some big injuries at the wrong time of year. Goaltender Ben Bishop is out an elbow injury and his status for the opening round is questionable. Anders Lindback will fill in while he’s out. Tampa may also got a scare with two 50-point scorers Ondrej Palat and Valtteri Filppula as well as No. 1 defenceman Victor Hedman banged up down the stretch. However, all three are expected to play in Game 1. Montreal has the speed to keep up with Tampa Bay, but the Habs need to get their offence going. They manage just 28.4 shots per game and their power play ranks 19, clicking at a 17.2-percent clip. How Therrien uses Subban in this series will be crucial.

Sports Interaction NHL Odds


If Tampa Bay stays relatively healthy in this series, the Lightning have a significant edge. Montreal is a fast team, but it remains to be seen if the Habs are tough enough to play playoff hockey. The Canadiens just give up far too many chances. If Montreal gets past Tampa Bay, it will be because of Carey Price.

Pick: Tampa Bay wins in six games.


Game 1: 5-4 Montreal (OT)

Game 2: 4-1 Montreal

Game 3: 3-2 Montreal

Game 4: 4-3 Montreal