Smart Money NHL Picks For 8/25/2020
Game 2: Boston Bruins @ Tampa Bay Lightning – Boston Leads (1-0): Over/Under 5.5 (-110) – 7 pm
For Game 2 of this rematch of the 2018 2nd round NHL playoff series, all indicators point to the Lightning winning tonight. First of all, since Tuukka Rask opted out of The Bubble, the Bruins have won 4 straight games. And that won’t last forever. They’re due for a loss and here’s why we think time’s up. After the Bruins scored three goals, the Bolts were able to cut it within one in the 3rd period. Boston showed obvious signs of complacency and a decrease in intensity, whereas the Lightning seemed just the opposite. Tampa’s record after a loss in The Bubble is 1-0. This makes sense because just being down in Game 1 sparked their fight-back-HARD mentality.
The key for Tampa tonight will be staying out of the box. You can’t take too many penalties against this Bruins team because of their elite power-play. It has already scored a big goal early in the 2nd period of Game 1.
Tampa is a much better defensive team than the Bruins' previous opponent in Round 1, the Carolina Hurricanes. They know how to protect leads. If they can carry their goal-scoring momentum from late Sunday night and have a quick start in Game 2, they’ll be all set.
Ultimately, Jon Cooper and the Lightning know how to deal with adversity in the playoffs. They’ve lost Game 1 and won Game 2 multiple times over the last several years. And we think they’ll add to that legacy tonight.
Game 2: Vancouver Canucks @ Vegas Golden Knights – Vegas Leads (1-0): Over/Under 5.5 (-210) – 9:45 pm
For tonight’s saga between Vancouver and Vegas, we’re predicting the scoring floodgates to burst wide open. Even though Vegas had a 5-0 shutout in Game 1, Vancouver is a top 10 scoring team in the NHL; they’re primed for a big offensive night. What’s more, in the seven victories that the Canucks have recorded in The Bubble, they have scored at least 3 goals each time.
While Vancouver's offense is likely to pop off, their neglect of defense and lack of discipline are sure to allow Vegas to have big scoring chances as well. Vancouver must watch their penalties in Game 2. They took a major penalty Sunday night, which led to a power-play goal and an ejection from the game. Pulling stunts like that is a great way to get eliminated from the playoffs because it invariably leads to opposing goals. Lots of them.
In conclusion, expect Vancouver’s high-powered offense to show up in Game 2 and pick the over because this NHL playoff series is a shots-on-goal bonanza!