The Tampa Bay Lightning can take solace in the fact that both of the last two NHL champions also lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. However, teams have captured the trophy in only five of the 51 instances in which they dropped the first two games of the series. The Lightning look to avoid being in that situation when they face the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final on Monday. The puck will drop at Rogers Place in Edmonton at 8 p.m. ET.
Tampa Bay is the -160 favorite on the money line in the latest Lightning vs. Stars odds from William Hill. The over-under for total goals scored is set at 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.
- Lightning vs. Stars money line: Lightning -160, Stars +140
- 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
Andrei Vasilevskiy has started all 20 of Tampa Bay's games since the NHL returned from the coronavirus pandemic pause, posting a 1.88 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner, who also is a finalist for the award this year, has answered each of the Lightning's four playoff losses with a victory and should bounce back from an outing in which he yielded three goals on 19 shots. The Lightning can provide Vasilevskiy with plenty of offensive support as eight different players have scored at least four goals this postseason.
Brayden Point and defenseman Victor Hedman are tied for first with nine apiece, leaving them one behind Vancouver's Bo Horvat for the playoff lead. They each have scored a pair of game-winners, with both of Point's coming in overtime. Hedman netted four of his tallies in the series against the Islanders and has scored in six of his last nine contests while Point has produced two of the Lightning's seven two-goal performances this postseason.
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.