The second round of the 2020 NHL Playoffs continues Saturday, August 29, with Game 4 of the Atlantic Division series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins. The reigning vice-champs won the opener, but the Lightning bounced back and took control of the series last Wednesday.
This clash was originally scheduled for Friday night and was postponed due to the players’ boycott.
We have prepared all the betting trends and tips for Game 4 along with the best betting pick, so let’s see what can we expect from the Lightning and Bruins this Saturday, as the 2020 Stanley Cup is heating up.
The Lightning are without one of their best players, center Steven Stamkos, due to a lower-body injury, while defenseman Ryan McDonagh is unfit and doubtful to play.
The Bruins, on the other side, miss goalie Tuukka Rask which is a massive blow. Center Sean Kuraly missed Game 3 due to a minor injury and will be a game-time decision for Game 4.
The Lightning are slight -115 favorites to win straight up on BetAmerica, while the Bruins sit at -105 odds on Sugarhouse. Tampa was a -115 fave last time out, too, while -110 moneyline odds were set on each team in the first two games of the series.
Game 4 totals are set at 5.5 goals, as well as in the previous six encounters between the Lightning and Bruins.
What’s at Stake?
The Bruins will be in a very difficult situation if they drop to 3-1, so this is a huge game for the vice-champions. The Lightning need to stay focused, as the conference finals appear so close, especially with another win.
Boston won the opener 3-2, almost blowing a three-goal lead. The Bruins had a lead twice in Game 2 and lost 4-3 in overtime, while they were blown away in Game 3. The Lightning dismantled the Bruins 7-1 this past Wednesday, as the teams played back-to-back.
I’ve mentioned that Tuukka Rask’s absence is a massive blow for the Bruins even though Jaroslav Halak is a solid goaltender. Halak had 35 saves in Game 1 and 36 in Game 2, but he was destroyed on Wednesday, leaving the ice midway the 2nd period with four goals allowed on 16 shots.
The 35-year-old veteran goalie is 4-3 with a 2.91 GAA and a .903 save percentage this postseason. I assume he’ll get another start Saturday, as the Bruins cannot lean on a 23-year-old Dan Vladar.
On the other side, the Lightning showed how dangerous they are on the offensive end. Six different players netted in that 7-1 victory, while Alex Killorn scored twice. Nikita Kucherov tallied three assists along with a goal, and the 27-year-old winger is a key guy in Stamkos’ absence.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will guard the cage for the Lightning in Game 4, and he’s 8-3 with a 2.06 GAA and a .924 save percentage this postseason.
The Lightning have dominated the Bruins lately, winning 13 of their previous 16 encounters including three victories this past regular season and a win in the round-robin tournament in the bubble.
I think the momentum is completely on the Lightning’s side, so I’m backing them to win Game 4 at -115 moneyline odds. The Bruins depend on Jaroslav Halak a lot, and I don’t like that situation. They certainly have enough quality to keep it close, but I have to go with Tampa Bay.
Betting on the totals could be a tricky job. The previous two games went in the over and produced a bunch of goals, but both these teams are capable of playing strong defense. I’m leaning towards the over, but Tampa Bay remains my top betting pick.