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NHL Playoffs Round 3 Preview and Predictions

(3) Tampa Bay Lightning vs (4) New York Islanders

Playoff Leader Stats

Kyle Palmieri (7) – Goals – Brayden Point (8)

Jean Gabriel Pageau (10) – Assists – Nikita Kucherov (13)

Jean Gabriel Pageau (13) – Points – Nikita Kucherov (18)

 Ilya Sorokin (2.32) – GAA – Andrei Vasilevskiy (2.24)

 Ilya Sorokin (.934) – SV% – Andrei Vasilevskiy (.943)

Offense: Lightning

Defense: Lightning

Goaltending: Lightning

It’s a rematch from the Eastern Conference Finals from last season as the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders square off for the second straight postseason. The Lightning and Islanders both had tough paths to Round 3, versing challenging teams along the way. On paper, it seems like the Lightning have a much better team, but it’s closer than it seems. The Lightning have a stacked forward core, however, the Islanders have more depth. The Lightning also have a top-heavy defense, while the Islanders have a much deeper defensive core. And in net, the Lightning have the front runner for the Vezina Trophy, Andrei Vasilevskiy, but the Islanders have a better tandem with Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin. Despite their rosters being close to even, the Lightning have much more top-end talent and have more playoff experience which is why they will defeat the Islanders in six games.

Prediction: Lightning in 6

(2) Vegas Golden Knights vs (4) Montreal Canadiens

Playoff Leader Stats

Johnathan Marchessault (6) – Goals – Tyler Toffoli (4)

William Karlsson (7) – Assists – Tyler Toffoli (6)

William Karlsson (11) – Points – Tyler Toffoli (10)

Marc-Andre Fleury (1.91) – GAA – Carey Price (1.97)

Marc-Andre Fleury (.932) – SV% – Carey Price (.935)

Offense: Golden Knights

Defense: Golden Knights 

Goaltending: Canadiens

The team with the richest history in the league, the Montreal Canadiens is battling the newest team in the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights for their first postseason matchup. The Canadiens and Golden Knights had very different paths to get to Round three. The Canadiens came back from 3-1 to defeat the Maple Leafs in seven games, then went on to sweep the Jets in the second round. The Golden Knights had to go through two hard-fought series against the Wild and Avalanche to get to the third round. Now looking at the roster matchups, the Golden Knights have a slightly better offense with more star power and a much better defense with top-end talent and depth. But the Canadiens have the advantage in net with Carey Price who has been unstoppable in the playoffs. Price carried the Canadiens to the third round, but his reign is going to end at the hands of the Golden Knights who will advance to their second ever Stanley Cup Finals.

Prediction: Golden Knights in 5

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