If your inclination is to root for the underdog in any sport, the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals was not for you. The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning looked like they were in a different league than the Montreal Canadiens. They won 5-1 in a very lopsided victory. Much of that had to do with Nikita Kucherov. Whatever injury he might have sustained in Game 6 in their series with the New York Islanders, it didn’t seem to be any bit of an issue as the winger had a historic playoff performance.
What TV Channel is Game 2: Canadiens-Lightning on?
Canadiens-Lightning will be shown on NBCSN at 8:00 p.m. ET. You can live stream NHL Playoff games on fuboTV.
How to Watch Lightning-Islanders-Lightning
When: Wednesday, June 30
Where: Amalie Arena – Tampa Bay, FL
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch NHL Playoffs free with fuboTV)
In the easiest first-star selection of all time, Kucherov scored two goals and had an assist in Game 1. But with the performance he became just the third player to record 30 or more points in consecutive postseasons. Kucherov joined two other players named Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. Apparently those guys are good according to the internet. In all seriousness though, what Kucherov is doing is doing is insane and the entire team is following his lead. Remember, he missed the entire 2020-21 regular season after undergoing hip surgery. He’s the reason the Lightning have a tremendous opportunity to become just the third team in the last 25 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. They haven’t lost back to back games going back to last year’s playoffs and the Amalie Arena has been their sanctuary this year. Even in losses at home, they haven’t lost by more than one goal.
While Game 1 was dispiriting for the ultimate underdogs, the good news for the Canadiens is that in the past three years, the team that has lost the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals has gone on to win the cup. But a lot needs to change for that to happen. Going into this series, it seemed fair to say that this matchup was going to be all about these two teams’ amazing goaltenders. The Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy put up a 1-0 shutout in Game 7 against the Islanders to get to this round.
Carey Price of the Canadiens is arguably their best player and outperformed Marc-Andre Fleury in their series against the Vegas Golden Knights in the last round. Fleury just won the Vezina award for the league’s top goaltender. Everyone understands that Tampa’s offense is playing with their hair on fire and could rival Tom Brady’s Buccaneers for best offensive unit in the city. But Price is going to have to have a spotless game if the Canadiens are to steal a game in Tampa to go back home with this series evened up.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
Canadiens Odds: +1.5
Lightning Odds: -1.5
Money Line: Islanders — – Lightning -210