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Quick Strikes: The Tampa Bay Lightning Are The Odds On Favorite To Win The Stanley Cup

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So what side should you back? And where does the value lie? Visit SportsLine to get NHL odds and picks for every Stanley Cup Playoff game, all from the advanced computer model on a red-hot 21-8 NHL run.  

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The Eastern Conference Final between the Capitals and Lightning has been a back-and-forth affair, but it will come down to one game with a spot in the Stanley Cup Final on the line. The Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 series lead but then dropped the following three games (including two at home) to put their season in jeopardy. They were able to force a Game 7 with a big Game 6 win on Monday night, sending the series back to Tampa Bay for the do-or-die finale.

The Washington Capitals done-did it. They shook off the Penguins bugaboo and finally advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, becoming the first team from Washington D.C. to make it to a conference final since ... the Washington Capitals in 1998. However, before we all start declaring this  the Caps year, they have another major obstacle incoming as they try to win the city's first championship since 1992, when the Redskins won the Super Bowl.

That obstacle comes in the form of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have needed just 10 games to reach the conference finals. They discarded the Bruins and Devils in five games, and they've lived up to every bit of their first-place finish in the East so far. Led by some of the best goal-scorers in hockey, the Lightning are looking for their second Stanley Cup appearance in four years.

How to watch

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(All times ET)

NHL Playoffs odds

Here's a look at each team's projected odds to advance via SportsLine, not to mention their odds to win not only their conference, but also the Stanley Cup.