Lightning Aim to Strike Back Against Maple Leafs in Game 2

Oh-Canada May 03, 2022

They're Stanley Cup Champions for a Reason – Here's Why We Like the Tampa Bay Lightning to Rebound in Game 2

Those who were expecting a close-fought, evenly-matched playoff series were shocked to see the opening game turn into a slaughter.

Final score: Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 0.

The unexpected shutout was a bold statement by the Maple Leafs, who are seeking their first postseason advance in 18 years. Toronto's five-goal outburst was also a slap in the face to the defending Stanley Cup champions in their quest for a three-peat, and an embarrassment for stud goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who appears to be wearing down to the grind of pressure-filled hockey, and as champions, always with a target on their backs.

On Wednesday night the Lightning will take to the ice at Scotiabank Arena for a much-anticipated rematch. A win here puts Tampa Bay right back in the driver's seat and would give the Lighting home-ice advantage for the remainder of the series.

However, Toronto will be determined to prove that Game 1 wasn't a fluke. Certainly, to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series against the champs would be further evidence that this Toronto team isn't plagued by the old demons of the past.

Spreads.ca lists the Leafs as 1.78 favourites, which pays 2.10 with a bet on the Lightning to win. The O/U is 6.5 goals, shaded slightly towards the under.

The puck drops at 6:35 pm EDT in Toronto.

Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):

Picking a side all comes down to one question -- do we still believe in Tampa Bay? It's hard to imagine things deteriorating so far and so fast that the Lightning would drop a second consecutive playoff game. The previous blowout only adds to team motivation.  The bench-clearing brawl in Game 1 likely gives Tampa Bay even more reason to get angry this time around.

Great teams off a public embarrassment tend to be pretty good bets to rebound and recover in the next game. We have to believe Tampa Bay (and Vasilevskiy) will perform much better in Game 2.

Since they're getting plus-money, we also think that adds to the value. So, we'll skate with the Lightning on Wednesday night and take the underdog to even the series at 1-1.

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