Lightning vs Bruins – NHL Game 3 Pick for May 2nd

by Rick Rockwell
on May 2, 2018

In addition to home ice advantage, there are several reasons why the Bruins are optimistic as they return to TD Garden. With the series tied at 1-1, this makes it a best of 5 series. And, the Bruins have 3 of those 5 games at home. Additionally, Boston has outscored Tampa 8-6 in the first 2 games. At home, Boston is averaging 5.5 goals per game in the playoffs and Tampa Bay is averaging 2.5 gpg on the road.

Another area that Boston is optimistic about is with their goalie. At home, including the playoffs, Rask has a 2.26 goals against average, which is better than his 2.50 gaa over the first two games of the series. Rask is also sporting a .922 save percentage this series and he’s even more imposing at home.

With all of this optimism, Boston still has some concerns. Despite scoring 8 goals so far, they’re only 1-4 on power plays. Additionally, they’re getting dominated in total shots as Tampa has 67 shots over the first two games compared to Boston’s 44 shots. Also, Boston’s top line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak only registered 4 points in Game 2. That’s a significant drop off from their 11 point performance in Game 1.

I expect the Bruins’ top line to have a big impact on Game 3 and outplay Tampa’s top line of Miller, Stamkos and Nikita. For the series, Boston’s top line has 15 points and Tampa’s top line has zero points.

As mentioned above, Rask has shown improved play at home. Now the question will be whether or not Tampa’s goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy can step up his play on the road. In the first round of the playoffs, Andrei only allowed 10 goals for a 2 gaa. In the first 2 games, he’s already allowed 7 for a 3.5 gaa. Also in the first round, Vasilevskiy had a .940 save percentage. In the first 2 games against Boston, he’s down to .850 save percentage. Boston has clearly gotten after Vasilevskiy so far, will they be able to continue that trend at home? I believe they will and it all starts with their top line who already has 45 total points in the playoffs, which is an average of 5 points per game.

Boston went 28-8-5 at home this season, which includes 2 wins over Tampa Bay. Over the last 7 years, Boston is 17-4 against Tampa Bay at home including winning three straight and 4 of the last 5 between these two teams. In the last 44 games played between these two teams in Boston, the Lightning are 7-33-4. The Lightning are 2-4 over their last 6 road games, which includes going 1-1 in the playoffs so far. The Bruins are 3-1 at home in the playoffs, have scored 22 goals over those four games and only gave up 12 goals.

I love the home ice advantage that the Bruins have against the Lightning and I believe they will take the series lead with a win tonight in Game 3.

Pick: Bruins

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Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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