Stanley Cup Final 2020: Lightning vs. Stars odds, NHL picks, Game 2 predictions from advanced model

The Dallas Stars won a whopping two playoff series over the previous 11 postseasons. With that total already eclipsed, Dallas is three victories away from raising the Stanley Cup for just the second time in franchise history. The Stars attempt to get halfway to the championship when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final on Monday. Opening faceoff from Rogers Place in Edmonton is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Dallas rode the momentum from a five-game triumph over top-seeded Vegas in the Western Conference Final to a 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay in Saturday’s series opener. The Lightning also lost the first game of their Eastern Conference second-round series against Boston before winning the next four. Tampa Bay is the -150 favorite in the latest Lightning vs. Stars odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total goals scored is five. Before making any Stars vs. Lightning picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lightning vs. Stars. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds from William Hill and trends for Stars vs. Lightning: 

  • Lightning vs. Stars money line: Lightning -150, Stars +130
  • Lightning vs. Stars puck line: Lightning -1.5
  • Lightning vs. Stars over-under: 5 goals
  • TB: The Lightning have allowed the first goal in six straight games
  • DAL: G Anton Khudobin is 9-0 in the last nine contests in which he’s made at least 30 saves

Why you should back the Lightning

Tampa Bay has the top two scorers this postseason in 2019 Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov (26 points) and Brayden Point (25). Along with defenseman Victor Hedman, Point is one goal off the playoff lead with nine and has been kept off the scoresheet in just four of his 18 postseason contests. Hedman is three tallies away from matching the record for most by a blue-liner in a single postseason set in 1985 by Edmonton’s Paul Coffey.

The 29-year-old Swede, who was the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, had recorded only seven goals in 84 playoff games prior to this postseason. Ondrej Palat has scored eight times in 20 contests, matching the career postseason high he set during Tampa Bay’s run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. The 29-year-old Czech has had a flair for the dramatic as three of his goals have been game-winners, including one in overtime.

Why you should back the Stars

Dallas did a fantastic job after obtaining the lead in the second period on Saturday, extending the advantage in the final minute of the session before withstanding Tampa Bay’s onslaught in the third and sealing the win with an empty-netter. The Stars were outshot 22-2 over the final 20 minutes, but Khudobin did not falter as he finished with 35 saves in his first career Stanley Cup Final game to improve to 13-6 with a .923 save percentage this postseason. 

Dallas has received solid offensive support from its defense corps as Miro Heiskanen is fourth in the NHL in playoff scoring with 23 points while Jamie Oleksiak has scored five goals — including the winner in Game 1 — after recording three in 69 games during the regular season.

How to make Lightning vs. Stars picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total with the simulations giving Kucherov and Gurianov the best chance to score a goal for their respective sides. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Stars vs. Lightning? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lightning vs. Stars money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times, and find out. 

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