Bet the Stanley Cup: In a must-win game 4, can the Stars align to beat the Lightning? Greg Frank has his pick
Lightning (-153) @ Stars (5)
Pick: Stars +138
I’m not giving up on the Stars entering tonight’s must-win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. While Wednesday’s Game 3 may have signaled a momentum shift as Tampa Bay cruised to a 5-2 victory to take its first lead in the series, I believe this is a pretty evenly matched series and will at least get to a sixth game. Tampa Bay is generating more shots and has had the puck more than Dallas has at even strength, but the high-danger chances are equal. The Stars are here largely because of opportunistic offense and sound defense and goaltending. When they don’t have the puck, they’ll have to do a better job of staying out of the penalty box as the Lightning have scored three power play goals in the last two games.
We’ve seen the Stars forced into playing catch up in each of the last two games having been outscored 5-1 in the last two first periods. That’s not a trend I would expect to continue with Dallas needing to get even tonight. The Stars should bring the proper intensity right out of the gate tonight and I don’t hate the idea of backing them in the first period as well. Look for tonight to be more like Game 1 where Dallas got the first goal and never trailed. The Stars have to punch back after the Lightning landed a pretty big blow in Game 3. At this price, it’s worth betting on the Stars to avoid a 3-1 series deficit.