Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions! Each day, we will take a look at the games that are happening and give our predictions for each one. There are two games on the slate for Thursday, June 3rd, featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes
Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders
Series: Bruins 1 – 1 Islanders
In another Game 3, the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders face off for the East Division title. The Bruins dominated the Washington Capitals in 5 games to move to the next round, while the Isles took 6 to conquer the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite dominating the first and second seeds of the East, Boston and New York have a lot of series in front of them.
Tied 1-1 on the series after a 5-2 win for the Bruins in Game 1, and a 4-3 OT win for the Islanders in Game 2, Game 3 should be pretty interesting. While the Bruins have incredible offence and brick wall goaltending on their side, the Islander’s defence is one of the best in the league. Buckling down on the blue line and stopping the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak will be key. But, just defence doesn’t win championships, so Islanders Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal, and Jordan Eberle need to get rolling, as well. On the other hand, with Tuukka Rask in the net and the Bruin’s powerhouse of an offence, I don’t see them losing this game.
Prediction: Bruins win 3-0.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes
Series: Lightning 2 – 0 Hurricanes
After two games played, the Tampa Bay Lightning are up 2-0 in the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Battling for the Central Division championship, both clubs had a stellar first round. They each defeated their opponents, the Florida Panthers, and the Nashville Predators, respectively, in six games. Therefore, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions and the Central Division champions were slotted to face off against each other.
In the first two games of the series, the Lightning eked out a one-goal victory over the Hurricanes. While it’s clear these teams are pretty evenly matched, there are several reasons Tampa Bay has come out with two wins. Goaltending has been a huge factor. Vezina Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid in the net. Facing 62 shots on goal across both games, only two went in. And, with Carolina’s fire offence that’s an incredible feat. At the other end of the ice, Alex Nedeljkovic hasn’t been quite as good. Facing significantly fewer shots, a total of just 45, Nedeljkovic has let in double the goals.
For the Hurricanes, it’s a matter of getting a puck past Vasilevskiy. For the Lightning, it’s putting more shots on goal. If they want to dominate this series and move on, they need to put more pucks on the net. As for tonight, with Vasilevskiy showing no signs of weakness and the capability of their stacked offence, Tampa will collect their third win.
Prediction: Lightning win 4-2.
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