The Tampa Bay Lightning are the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.
On Wednesday night, they showed us exactly why that is once again.
The Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in Game 2 to even their best-of-seven first-round series at 1-1.
Tampa Bay improved to 15-0 in playoff games following a loss over the last three postseasons.
That’s just a ridiculous number.
As explained in Wednesday’s column, I was all over the Lightning at +114 on the money line.
After striking back to steal home-ice advantage in the series, the series price is basically a pick’em heading back to Tampa Bay for Game 3.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Thursday, May 5th, 2022.
Hedman, Kucherov Power Bolts To Game 2 Win
The Lightning could be found as high as +164 to advance to the second round after losing Game 1 in Toronto.
As of this morning, Tampa Bay is -108 to win its first-round series at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Maple Leafs went from -205 to -111 following their Game 2 loss.
After looking outmatched in their opener, the Lightning’s best players responded with big games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves to reach 50 career playoff wins.
Only six goaltenders in NHL history have reached the 50-win mark in the postseason in fewer games than Vasilevskiy.
Victor Hedman delivered a goal and three assists.
Nikita Kucherov registered a goal and two assists for his 18th career three-point game in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay is 12-6 all-time in a best-of-seven series that is tied 1-1 – the second-best win percentage of any NHL team in that particular situation.
They’re 4-0 in that scenario throughout their back-to-back Stanley Cup runs the last two seasons.
The series now shifts south to Florida, with the Lightning currently listed as a -120 money line favourite for Game 3 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
As I already mentioned, if you like either side to win the series, you can still get them at a very reasonable price.
Smith Shuts Door On Kings In Game 2 Win
There was plenty of nervous energy among fans of the Edmonton Oilers heading into Game 2 against the Los Angeles Kings last night.
Their team responded with a dominant performance in a 6-0 win to even their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
Mike Smith stopped all 30 shots that he faced for the shutout in his first playoff win for Edmonton.
In fact, it was Smith’s first postseason win since Game 1 of the first round in 2019.
Evander Kane led the way at the other end with two goals and an assist.
Connor McDavid registered two assists, while Leon Draisaitl picked up his second goal of the playoffs.
Now the series shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4.
Edmonton is -215 to win the series at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Kings, which are currently a +122 money line underdog for Game 3, are listed at +176 to advance to the second round with a series win.
Elsewhere in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Pyotr Kochetkov, who relieved an injured Antti Raanta, stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced for the victory.
Carolina has outscored Boston 10-3 in the series.
The Hurricanes are now -450 to advance at FanDuel.
Meanwhile, Kirill Kaprizov scored a hat trick to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues to tie their first round series at 1-1.
For those keeping track, NHL teams coming off a loss went 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars will all be in that situation tonight.
Favourites went 3-1 and are now 7-5 in these playoffs.
Meanwhile, three of last night’s four games went over the total, as the over now leads 7-5 this postseason.
Suns, Heat Cruise To 2-0 Series Leads
Chris Paul went for 28 points, eight assists and six rebounds, as the Phoenix Suns pulled away late for a 129-109 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2.
Luka Doncic delivered again in a loss for Dallas with 35 points.
He was +100 to score 35+ points at FanDuel.
Phoenix is now -1500 to advance to the Western Conference Finals at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat are -1000 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Jimmy Butler finished with 22 points, 12 assists and six rebounds in the win.
For what it’s worth, Miami is now the third choice to win the NBA title at FanDuel at +460.
Only the Suns (+200) and the Golden State Warriors (+320) have shorter odds to win the title right now.
Reds Disastrous Season Continues In Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 18-4 last night.
It was Cincinnati’s eighth straight loss.
Seven of those eight losses have been by two runs or more.
The Reds are now 3-21 overall, with a minus-82 run differential.
For perspective, the Kansas City Royals have the second-worst run differential in baseball right now at minus-39.
That’s a difference of 43 runs.
We’re just 24 games into the season.
For those looking to fade Cincinnati, it will certainly come at a price at this point.
The Brewers are -225 on the money line and -104 to cover the run line of -1.5 versus the Reds this afternoon at FanDuel Sportsbook.
At this point, I’ll continue to fade Cincinnati and recommend one unit on Milwaukee -1.5.
Let’s see if the slide continues this afternoon.