The 2020 Stanley Cup Final goes on Friday with Game 4 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. After a tough 4-1 loss in the opener, the Lightning have bounced back with a couple of wins and will look to take full command of this series, but the Stars won’t surrender, that’s for sure.
We expect to see a tremendous battle in Game 4, so here’s the best betting pick for the Lightning versus Stars showdown along with the latest odds and team news, as the NHL Playoffs betting action continues.
The Lightning have waited for their captain Steven Stamkos to return from an injury since the start of the NHL bubble action. Stamkos logged 2:47 of ice time in the previous contest and managed to score a goal, but he couldn’t finish the game and is questionable to play Friday.
All other guys are ready to go, while the Stars, on the other side, have a lot of injury worries. They miss goalie Ben Bishop, center Radek Faksa, and defenseman Stephen Johns, while winger Blake Comeau is questionable to play.
What’s at Stake?
Dallas will be in big trouble if allows another loss. Trailing 3-1 against this Tampa Bay team could be too much, so the stake is huge for both sides.
The Stars won the opener 4-1, but the Lightning have dominated the series since then. Tampa stormed the front in each of the last two games, scoring five 1st-period goals. The momentum is certainly on their side, and the Stars desperately need to switch it in Game 4.
The Lightning had a 3-0 lead after the 1st period of Game 2. They allowed a couple of goals for the rest of the clash but still managed to escape with a win.
Game 3 saw a similar start, as Tampa build a 2-0 lead in just seven minutes of play. The Stars cut the deficit midway the 1st period, but the Lightning stepped up in the 2nd and netted three straight times to clinch a huge victory.
Tampa’s offense was furious on Wednesday, scoring five goals on 32 shots. Center Brayden Point and winger Nikita Kucherov tallied one goal and an assist each, while defenseman Victor Hedman netted once and assisted twice.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 22 of 24 shots to improve to 16-6 on the postseason. He’s been outstanding thus far, posting a 1.89 GAA and a .928 save percentage.
On the other side, Anton Khudobin was helpless for the second straight outing. He’s now 13-8 with a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage on the postseason.
The Stars took just 24 shots in Game 4 despite trailing for almost 56 minutes. They have to do a much better job in Game 4, but first, they have to find a way to deal with Tampa’s frontline.
Kucherov and Point have combined for 18 goals and 40 assists during these playoffs, and after winning the wager on Tampa in each of the previous two games, I just have to go with the flow.
The Stars will stand a chance only if Anton Khudobin put on a strong performance. They’ve been struggling to outshoot the Lightning so far, and I expect to see more of the same Friday in Game 5 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.
Tampa is 7-3 in its last 10 meetings with Dallas, though the Stars won both H2H duels this past regular season. The over is 15-3-3 in the previous 21 matchups between Tampa and Dallas, but I’m staying away from the totals in this series.