Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semis. The first puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 2, and it’s being shown live on NBC Sports Network.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins Odds

With a -145 moneyline, Boston enters the game as the heavy favorite. The line for Tampa Bay sits at +125 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-120 to bet the over, +100 for the under).

Tampa Bay is 59-30 straight up (SU) and has earned 9.9 units for moneyline bettors this season. 53 of its matches have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just three have pushed. As an away team this season, the Bolts are 26-17 SU.

The Lightning offensive attack attempted 32.7 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.6 goals per contest (ranked first overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the clubs attempting an average of 33.6 shots on goal 3.4 goals per game.

Following a regular season where they converted 24.3 percent of all power-play opportunities (the third-best), the Lightning have been able to score on 26.9 percent of their postseason power plays. Their penalty kill has gone from 76.6 percent in the regular season to 82.6 percent in the playoffs.

Averaging 29.2 saves per game with a .920 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (49-23-3) has been the top option in goal for Tampa Bay this season. If head coach Jon Cooper chooses to rest him, however, the team may roll with Louis Domingue (7-12-1), who has a .894 save percentage and 3.41 goals against average this year.

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Lightning. Kucherov has 110 points via 44 goals and 66 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 34 different games. Stamkos has 28 goals and 64 assists to his credit (and has notched at least one point in 57 games).

On the other side of the rink, Boston is 55-36 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 91 regular season matches, 44 of its games have gone under the total, while 41 have gone over and just six have pushed. It’s 31-14 SU at home this season.

The Bruins have converted on 24.3 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that places it in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked third overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all opponent power plays.

Bruins players have been whistled for penalties 3.7 times per game in total this season, 3.6 per game over their past five match ups total, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Tuukka Rask (25.7 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Bruins. Rask has 39 wins, 24 losses, and five OT losses to his name and has registered a 2.43 goals against average and a .916 save percentage this season.

The home team offense will be led by Brad Marchand (38 goals, 62 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins Free Picks

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Bruins, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The over has hit in three of Boston’s last five games.
  • Boston’s attempted 32.9 shots per contest overall this season (the eighth-most in the NHL), and 38.4 in their last five home outings.
  • Nine of Tampa Bay’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 7-2 in those games.
  • The Bruins this season have registered the eighth-most hits per game (24.0), but the teams averaged 30.4 over their past five home games.