The NHL Playoffs betting action goes on Monday, September 21, with Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning.
After upsetting the odds in the Western Conference, the Stars stunned the Lightning last Saturday and took the first blood in the Stanley Cup Final. We have prepared all the tips and trends you need to know for the second contest of this series along with our top betting pick, so let’s take a closer look.
The Stars are missing goalie Ben Bishop, center Radek Faksa, and defenseman Stephen Johns. The Lightning are without center Steven Stamkos and defenseman Jan Rutta.
Tampa Bay is listed as a -150 moneyline fave to win Game 2 on BetAmerica, while Dallas is a +135 out-of-towner to win straight up. The totals are set at 5.0 goals on DraftKings.
The Stars beat the Lightning 4-1 in the opener as +135 dogs with a total of 5.0 goals. At the moment, both Dallas and Tampa are sitting at -110 odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup.
What’s at Stake?
Overcoming deficits is a common thing in the NHL playoffs, but the Lightning certainly don’t want to get themselves into a 2-0 hole. This is a huge game for both clubs, but hey, there’s no small-stake contests at this stage.
The Stars want to keep the momentum on their side. They are riding a four-game win streak and will look to extend it Monday night. On the other side, the Lightning have dropped three of their last five games overall.
Tampa Bat took 16 shots more than Dallas in Game 1 (36-20), but that wasn’t enough against Anton Khudobin. The 34-year-old Russian goaltender put on a tremendous performance and turned aside 35 shots to help the Stars top the Lightning.
Khudobin improved to 13-6 on the postseason while tallying a 2.54 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He’s been outstanding lately, surrendering only six games in his previous four outings. Anton will get another starting nod Monday, as Ben Bishop is still unfit to play, but the Stars can rely on Khudobin, for sure.
On the other side, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the defensive rock for the Lightning this postseason, but the 26-year-old goalie wasn’t at his best in the opener, allowing three goals on 19 shots. Tampa will need more from its starting goaltender, and Vasilevskiy is 14-6 with a 1.88 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the postseason.
The Stars won the opener in the same fashion they beat Vegas in the Western Conference Finals. They defended well and took advantage of any given opportunity on the other side. Hereof, the Lightning need to be more patient if they want to even the series.
I took the under in Game 1 and it ended with a push. This 5-goal line is sharp and I don’t feel comfortable with it, so if you want to take the totals, I suggest you opt with the alternative line at 5.5 goals.
The over is 14-3-2 in the last 19 encounters between the Stars and Lightning, but wagering on the totals is a very tricky job in this series. Both teams lean on some excellent goaltending while playing physical, as we saw 106 hits in total last Saturday.
The Lightning should have learned the lesson, and I expect them to do a much better job in Game 2, especially on the defensive end. Andrei Vasilevskiy will be fired up to bounce back from a poor performance in the opener, and the Lightning need to show their attacking potential that is huge.
I’m well aware of Anton Khudobin’s terrific form, but Tampa to win straight up at -150 odds is my best betting pick here. The Lightning are 5-3 in their last eight meetings with Dallas, but they lost three in a row.