The Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks are both one win away from meeting in the Stanley Cup Finals. The two teams have 3-2 series leads in their respective conference finals, and they can clinch a spot in the finals with victories in Game 6.
Oddsmakers at Bovada.lv give San Jose the edge, making them the favorites to win the title at +160. Tampa Bay has the second best odds at +240, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins (+300) and St. Louis Blues (+500).
Tampa Bay has a chance to make a second straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals and close out their series with Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. The Lightning host the Penguins in Game 6, though it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Pittsburgh force a Game 7. The Penguins are slight favorites on the road with -135 odds, and the Lightning are +115 underdogs.
The Lightning have come back from a 2-1 series deficit, winning two straight games by a score of 4-3, the latest victory coming on the road in overtime. Tampa Bay has held Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby scoreless in each of the last two games.
San Jose wants to win in Game 6, as well, in order to avoid having to win a deciding seventh game on the road. The Sharks won their second-round series in seven games, but they closed out the Nashville Predators in San Jose with an easy 5-0 victory.
Oddsmakers give the Sharks -160 odds to close out the Blues, who are a +140 underdog on Wednesday. St. Louis hasn’t reached the Stanley Cup Finals since 1970 when they won their third consecutive championship.
Prior to the start of the conference finals, Pittsburgh was a slight favorite to win the title, followed by the Blues. A Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis matchup in the finals was given 8/5 odds of occurring, while Tampa Bay vs. San Jose was considered the least likely scenario at 9/2.
The Sharks haven’t won a title since they come into existence. Tampa Bay won it all in 2004, and the Penguins won the championship four years later.