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Lightning Bruins Betting – Lightning Roll Into Stanley Cup Final, Edge Banged-Up Bruins

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/9/2011 3:40:04 PM
lightning bruins betting

Sports betting players just watched Tampa Bay and Boston sweep their second-round opponents, and the Bruins in particular needed a couple extra days off to see if they can get their injured star as close to 100% as they can. The Lightning and Bruins meet in the Eastern Conference finals, and unless Boston can get their best player on the ice, Tampa Bay will progress to the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

  • What: NHL Betting
  • When: To Be Determined
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (TD Banknorth Garden, Boston); Games 3,4,6 (St. Pete’s Times Forum, Tampa Bay)
  • Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning

Why Bet On Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning became the most recent team to send Washington home early as they swept the No.1-seeded Capitals in four games, and Tampa Bay has now won seven in a row after coming back from being down three games to one in their first-round matchup against Pittsburgh. Vincent Lecavalier had three goals and three assists against the Capitals, and the Lightning also got four goals from Sean Bergenheim in the series. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson continued to be stout at the back, posting a 2.44 GAA and a .925 save percentage, and the Lightning are just playing like a team who are full of confidence right now. Tampa Bay got a couple of goals from Steven Stamkos in the series, but they’re still lighting the red lamp without their sniper being able to carry the load. But the best job may have been done by coach Guy Boucher, who kept putting pressure on the Capitals in the media by saying Washington was the better team, they were a higher seed and Tampa Bay was just trying to hang with them. By the way the Capitals played, they looked like a team with the weight of the world on their shoulders, and you have to wonder how much Boucher’s comments played into their heads. It definitely allowed his team to play more free.

As great as this run has been by the Lightning, their defense still leaves something to be desired, and they’ve been bailed out a lot by Roloson at the back. This plays into their style as the Lightning allowed the most goals among all teams but one, Detroit, and Tampa Bay loves for the game to be wide open, so a poor defense may not even be that much to worry about. However, they may be pressed into a tight-checking, defensive game going up against Boston, who led the East in goals allowed during the regular season.

Why Bet On Boston Bruins

The Bruins played like a team who were eager to put last year’s demons behind them as many remembered their collapse at the hands of Philadelphia, who came back from a three-games-to-none hole to stun Boston. The Bruins romped to a four-game sweep of the Flyers and only Game 2’s 3-2 overtime victory was close; the other three games were decided 7-3, 5-1 and 5-1. Ten different players scored goals for the Bruins, with three players notching two, and David Krejci led the team in points (four), scoring all four of his points on assists. Tim Thomas outplayed Philadelphia’s goaltenders by a wide margin, ending the series with a 1.96 GAA and a .942 save percentage. Like the Lightning, the Bruins are also on a roll, winning eight of their last nine after dropping the first two games of their series with Montreal, but they were possessed against Philadelphia, and they’ve fully exorcised those demons. As well as Tampa Bay played against Washington, Boston’s performance against Philadelphia was, by far, the best showing of the postseason by any team.

However, NHL betting players looking to bet on the Bruins will have to keep an eye on the status of center Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a mild concussion when he was hit by Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux. Bergeron has had a history with concussions in the past, so right now, he’s listed as being out indefinitely, which doesn’t bode well for his chances in this series. That robs the Bruins of their best faceoff player (Bergeron is the overall postseason leader in faceoff-winning percentage), arguably their best defensive forward, and a leader who is also a very skilled offensive player (his 12 points leads the Bruins in the postseason).

How The Series Will Play Out

NHL betting odds have the Bruins as a -135 favorite, while the Lightning are rated at +115 after splitting four meetings with Boston in the regular season. Both goalies have fared well against the opposition in the past, as Thomas is 10-4 with a 2.26 GAA and a .930 save percentage in 14 games against the Lightning, while Roloson is 5-2 in nine games against the Bruins with a 1.97 GAA and a .941 save percentage. Roloson wasn’t in goal for any of the four games between the two during the regular season, but he has the best GAA and save percentage in the playoffs, just edging out Thomas.

The odds are giving the edge to the Bruins because Tampa Bay isn’t going to be able to score three, four or five goals per game as they have throughout the playoffs, not against Boston, whose defense is led by arguably the best blueliner in the league, Zdeno Chara. The Bruins also have four lines that can match up with Tampa Bay‘s role players, who have been brilliant so far, and they will look to turn this series into a grind. But the loss of Bergeron is huge for the Bruins at both ends of the ice, and you can’t help but think that not being able to take a big faceoff late in the game is going to hurt the Bruins. They’re also running into a team with a solid goalie, not the mess they just faced in Philadelphia. It’s going to be a close series, likely going seven games, but take the upset and go with Tampa Bay in your online betting picks.

Lightning Bruins Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning

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