Before placing your NHL pick for Monday's Game 3, let’s take a look back and figure out what we learned from Game 2, when Tampa Bay evened up the Stanley Cup final against Chicago.
The Lightning Are Resilient
The Lightning took it on the chin in Game 1 when they lost a close one but they bounced back in Game 2. Again, they seemed to be in control most of the game and at the end of the day, they got back into this series. The good news for them is that Game 2 had a different tone to it as it was a high-scoring affair. The Lightning scored four goals compared to Game 1 when they had just a single. They also got their Triplets line going. If this holds up and the games are played at their pace, there’s a good chance they can steal a game in Chicago and even up this series.
Corey Crawford Is Vulnerable
Crawford was stellar in Game 1 but he was weak in Game 2. Yes, a couple of the goals were tough deflections that he had no chance but there was also a very weak goal he gave up to Tyler Johnson when he failed to seal the post. For the most part, Crawford has been very strong since taking over for Scott Darling late in Round 1 but this was not his best effort. He only faced 24 shots but allowed four goals.
Overs Might Be The Way To Go
The best takeaway might be that betting over the NHL odds totals are the way to go. With Crawford being somewhat suspect and Ben Bishop again playing rather poorly (three goals on 24 shots), it makes you wonder if the best bet in these matchups is the over. On top of that, Bishop was hurt or had some kind of issue that made him leave and come back twice in the third period. Andre Vasilevsky ended up finishing the game in net. Check on his status but either way, it looks like over is the best bet for your NHL picks right now.
Looking Forward To Game 3 Opening Line
BetOnline opened up the line for Game 3 at -150 and that seems about right. It still feels like Chicago is in control of things here. The Blackhawks didn’t play all that well in Game 2 – including Crawford – yet were still in this game again. They probably still haven’t played their best game of the series yet it’s all tied up 1-1 and they have home ice advantage. And then there’s Bishop’s issue and whether or not he’s healthy or if something is bothering him.
Tampa Bay has actually been far better on the road than at home these playoffs but Chicago has only lost once at home this postseason. It’s too much juice to lay but 'over' looks to be the best NHL pick as we could see plenty of high scoring matchups going forward.