Revised NHL Odds To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup
When the Tampa Bay Lightning lost star and captain Steven Stamkos to a blood-clot issue in the regular season, likely sidelining him for the playoffs, I didn’t give the Bolts much of a chance to win the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Proves what I know as the Lightning are now +230 favorites in online sports betting to hoist the Cup after losing in six games in last year’s finals to the Chicago Blackhawks.
A Closer Look at the Revised NHL Odds To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) May 23, 2016
The Lightning weren’t favored to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals but have a chance to eliminate the Penguins in Tampa in Game 6 on Tuesday night. The Bolts took command of the series with a 4-3 overtime win in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Jason Garrison’s wrist shot smacked off Tyler Johnson’s back and into the Penguins net 53 seconds into overtime. That improved Tampa Bay to 12-1 in its past 13 playoff games when Johnson scores a goal.
“I thought he was going for my head again,” said Johnson, who has now scored back-to-back winners without actually touching the puck with his stick, having scored the Game 4 winner when the puck deflected in off his skate.
Nikita Kucherov scored twice to boost his postseason total to an NHL-best 11 — including a wraparound that beat Marc-Andre Fleury and tied it at 3 with just 3:16 left in regulation. Alex Killorn picked up his fifth of the playoffs as the Lightning handed the Penguins consecutive losses for the first time since January.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 of 34 shots in the win. Vasilevskiy now has a 3-2 record with a 2.65 goals-against-average and a .928 save percentage this postseason. He’s only playing because No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop is out injured. It’s not clear if Bishop will be able to return from his lower-body injury for Tuesday’s Game 5. Stamkos, meanwhile, has been skating but is unlikely to return Tuesday. He might be able to play in the Stanley Cup Finals, however.
Who will be in net for Pittsburgh on Tuesday? Fleury got the start in Game 5 ahead of rookie sensation Matt Murray. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan refused to provide a postmortem on Fleury’s play, saying he needed time to digest it. But it would be a shock if Fleury is not back in net in Game 6 with the Penguins’ season on the line.
Penguins assistant captain Evgeni Malkin has all but guaranteed a victory in Game 6 on Tuesday at Amalie Arena. If a Game 7 is needed, it would be played Thursday at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Fleury, making his first start since March 31, was solid, even if he didn’t get tested much, in the first half of the game. The Penguins’ defeat marked the first time this season they lost a game in which they were leading after two periods, following 46 straight wins.
Pittsburgh is now +280 to win the Cup. It would be favored to win Game 7 back at home. In the Western Conference, San Jose and St. Louis are both +240 in online betting to win the Cup. That series is tied at 2 entering Monday’s Game 5 in St. Louis. Neither franchise has ever won the Cup.
If you are wondering, the Lightning were 0-2 vs. St. Louis during the regular season and 1-1 vs. the Sharks.