The Lightning win their division as they take down the Carolina Hurricanes in just 5 games, moving on to the winner of the Bruins and Islanders.
Free Picks: Lightning vs. Hurricanes, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 2
Series Results: Lightning wins series 4-1
The defending champions move on!
Tampa Bay made quick work of the Carolina Hurricanes, disposing of them in 5 games. After losing Game 2, the Lightning would win three straight to drop Carolina, which included a huge comeback win in Game 4.
While the Lightning’s offense was held to just 2 goals in 4 of 5 games, their defense was tremendous as they terrorized the Hurricanes for the entire series. The Hurricanes were able to muster 2 or more goals in only 2 games in the second round.
Tampa Bay now awaits the winner of New York and Boston, with the Islanders currently leading 3-2.
May 30, 05:00 p.m., PNC Arena
We’re onto the second round as both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes disposed of their first-round opponents in 6 games.
The regular season doesn’t mean anything once you are playing playoff hockey, but it’s still valuable to look back at the regular season in head-to-head match ups. This season, the Lightning were 4-3-1 against the Hurricanes – do I smell a future game 7 between these teams?
Turning attention to game 1 of this series, I think taking a look at the total goals will be one of your best bets for today. While I normally like to wager on the over, it’s opposite day. The current over/under is listed at 5.5 and I am all in on the under.
As we know, 3-2 is the most common final score in the history of the sport. Add in that Tampa Bay and Carolina both ranked high in goals against during the regular season and I am all for a low-scoring game to open the series. The odds at listed at +100(Betway) so we should see some decent return as well.
For the winner straight up, both teams are listed at -110. I think this will be an even series and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go the distance. Carolina and Tampa Bay both have outmatched each other on certain occasions, so this is up in the air.
I think taking the Hurricanes at home will be smart. Carolina is undefeated at home in the playoffs this season, so Tampa Bay will need to enter a nasty environment for away teams.
Dare I say, but the winner of this series may make an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. I might be getting too far ahead of myself, but it’s evident the impact these teams had on Stanley Cup odds.
Game 1 is upcoming and I think the Hurricanes start off hot.
June 1, 07:30 p.m., PNC Arena
It’s a shame that the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning are meeting in the second round of the NHL Playoffs. It’s clear that these two teams are destined for success, but one team will be eliminated after this round.
Entering Game 2, the Lightning have a 1-0 series lead on Carolina and could do significant damage with another victory on the road. The Hurricanes’ sole purpose of this game is to even the series, any way possible.
Despite losing Game 1, I think there are a few positives that benefit the Hurricanes. Carolina through a significant number of shots towards the Lightning net. With only 1 goal allowed, how long can Tampa Bay bend without breaking?
The other positive is that Tampa Bay tallied 5 penalties compared to Carolina’s 3. If the Lightning are undisciplined in Game 2 as well, expect Carolina to bounce back. Power Plays were key for both teams as two of the three goals scored in the game were on the man advantage.
For this BetPicks Prediction, I think taking the over in total goals will be the play. Both Carolina and Tampa Bay peppered the goal to open the series. If both goalies don’t stand tall, the over will easily cash. 10Bet has an alternate over/under of 4.5 -215 and while I think the value and return is low, I am confident this bet cashes.
As for the winner straight up, I think for this Stanley Cup playoffs prediction I would side with Carolina. I like how offensive-minded they were in the first game. If they continue to create chances like they did (and Tampa Bay takes penalties) we could see an even series entering Game 3.
The Lighting could change the outlook of the series with a win, but I think the Hurricanes battle back in Game 2.
Game 3 (Lightning leads series 2-0)
June 3, 08:00 p.m., Amalie Arena
Is it time to panic in Carolina?
The Hurricanes have been dominating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the shot category and all they have to show for it is a deficit in their second-round match up. With 2 losses, the Hurricanes are close to being eliminated from the NHL Playoffs.
It doesn’t bode well for the Hurricanes as the series shifts back to Tampa Bay. However, the Hurricanes are experienced in knowing that a 2-0 series lead can easily be washed away.
Entering Game 3, the Hurricanes are the underdogs at +135 (888Sport). With how much offense the Hurricanes are producing, I think we still ride with Carolina for this game. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a brick wall in the blue paint, but every goalie has an off-game. Carolina is firing on all cylinders and right now, Vasilevskiy has held his ground. But how long can we expect him to limit the Hurricanes?
Straight up, I think taking the Hurricanes on the ML will be your best NHL bet for this game. I know it’s bold and the Lightning are up 2-0, but you can’t discredit how well Carolina is playing. If the Hurricanes manage to lose this game, I think it’s the end of their Stanley Cup run. But if they steal a victory, the fire will be lit under Carolina.
For an alternate bet, taking the under for total goals would be my expert NHL pick. Vasilevskiy has stood tall in the playoffs and even Tampa Bay’s elite offense has been held to only 2 goals in both games. Carolina has been solid on defense but Vasilevskiy has been dominant in the blue paint. The over/under is 5.5 and I think the under –135 (888Sport) is your best choice for this BetPicks Prediction.
Straight up, I think the Hurricanes can win if they finally break Vasilevskiy. If not, they’ll be down 3-0 in the series.
Game 4 (Lightning lead series 2-1)
June 5, 04:00 p.m., Amalie Arena
Does Carolina have the momentum?
The Carolina Hurricanes desperately needed a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Heading to Florida down 2-0, the Hurricanes could not afford another loss.
Thankfully for the Hurricanes, they managed to escape with victory in OT to cut the deficit in the series down to 2-1. Now, the Hurricanes face another tough challenge as they aim to go home tied 2-2.
For this BetPicks Prediction, I think the wager that makes the most sense will be total goals. Currently, both the Lightning and Hurricanes are playing tight defense and I think that greatly benefits the under.
So far, every game has been decided by 1 goal. Also, every game has not surpassed 5 total goals, so I am confident that this wager cashes.
Of course, we’re all concerned about the winner for this free NHL pick and I think the move is the Lightning ML. Tampa Bay are obvious favorites at –160 and I think selecting the Lightning straight up would be the play.
While the Hurricanes were able to steal a victory on the road, the Lightning are still at home and I think they are the better team.
Carolina is also dealing with injuries to key players, like Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck, so I think the team as a whole is playing on borrowed time in the NHL playoffs.
Tampa Bay is basically running full-steam ahead. It will take a mighty effort to bring down the champs. With that being said, I don’t see the Lightning losing this game at home.
Game 5 (Lightning leads series 3-1)
June 8, 08:30 p.m., PNC Arena
Is this the end of the road for Carolina?
Down 3-1, the Carolina Hurricanes look to stay alive when they return home against the Tampa Bay Lightning. One more loss would end the Hurricanes’ season, while the Lightning would move onto the third round.
Game 4 was high-scoring as 10 goals were scored in the contest. Carolina held a 4-2 lead, but it would be the Lightning taking home the victory.
I think for this BetPicks Prediction, it’s time to side with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carolina is battling a number of injuries and I am unsure how much they have left in the tank.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Lightning are the favorites, currently listed at -125 (10Bet) and I would take the Lightning straight up for this NHL prediction. I love Carolina’s heart and think their time will come, but I think their run in the playoffs will conclude in Game 5.
Another bet I am confident in is the Lightning team’s total goals. With this being a game of desperation, I could see Carolina becoming sloppy late. If the Lightning hold a one-or-two goal lead, the Hurricanes will need to empty the net in an effort to save the season.
I would recommend Tampa Bay goals OVER 3.5 (+190, 10Bet) because I think it is an obtainable mark and the value is on par.
Tampa Bay has scored only 2 goals in 75% of this series, but I think their 6-goal performance was a potential breakthrough. With such desperation on both sides, I could see this being another high-scoring affair.
The Lightning have an opportunity to end the series on the road. Overall, Tampa Bay has been a dominant team away from Amalie Arena and I think Tampa Bay drops the Hurricanes, ending the series 4-1.
More NHL Free PicksSee more
NHL Draft 2021 Odds & Predictions
With the future of the NHL in the hands of all 32 owners, the NHL Draft is one of the most hyped events on the hockey calendar.
Free Picks: Wild vs. Golden Knights, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Minnesota Wild travel to Vegas to play the Golden Knights on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET in their round 1 playoff series. Vegas seems destined.
Free Picks: Hurricanes vs Predators, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Number 1 ranked Hurricanes battle it out against the underdog Predators in the Central Division. Can Nashville hang with the big dogs in round 1?
Free Picks: Islanders vs. Penguins, 2021 Stanley Cup Round 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins open at home in their best-of-seven playoff series against the N.Y. Islanders on Sunday. The Penguins are favored.
have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.