Stanley Cup Final Game 3 betting preview: Stars to reclaim series lead
Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

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No harm, no foul in Game 2, as a push on the under 5 takes our current run to 9-2-1 since the start of Round 3.

There's only so much money left to make in these playoffs, so let's get after it.

Tampa Bay Lightning (-155) at Dallas Stars (+135)

The Stanley Cup Final is now a best-of-five after the teams split the first two games, leading to a pressure-packed Game 3. Historically, clubs that win in this spot take the series 67.5% of the time.

To avoid joining the 32.5% there, the Stars need to get off to a better start. Down 1-0 in the series, the Lightning came out firing on all cylinders in Game 2. The Stars simply weren't prepared, falling into a 3-0 hole by just the 4:44 mark of the first period. Dallas allowed precious little after that, but the damage was done and the team's comeback fell short in a 3-2 loss.

With a better first period in that contest, the Stars could be holding a 2-0 series lead, but they came out a step behind the Bolts and it cost them dearly. The ice was tilted for the duration of the first period, resulting in three Dallas penalties and two power-play goals for Tampa. The Lightning built a three-goal lead over the first 20 minutes despite producing just 1.09 expected goals for, and a pedestrian 0.55 at five-on-five.

That game will serve as a wake-up call for the Stars, who should enjoy a much better start in the series-defining Game 3. Through two games they've shown their ability to suppress Tampa's offense, allowing just two goals and 17 high-danger chances at five-on-five. With Anton Khudobin still on top of his game, Dallas' defense in control, and the Stars getting last change for the first time in this series, I'll gladly scoop up the generous price of +135.

Pick: Stars (+135)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Stanley Cup Final Game 3 betting preview: Stars to reclaim series lead
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