The Blackhawks are a sizable home favorite on the NHL betting lines despite the Tampa Bay Lightning getting on the board with a win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final.
The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because...
They finally got their offense going in Game 2 and bounced-back for the win. Let’s face it: the Lightning are an offense-oriented team and they’d like these Stanley Cup final meetings to be a little more up-and-down and free-wheeling. They were the highest scoring team in the NHL in the regular season and it felt good for them to get four goals past Corey Crawford and get their swagger back. Speaking of which, the Triples line had a solid game in Game 2 as they had three points and the team power play went one-for-three. They just need to find a way to sustain more pressure at the offensive end as for a second straight game, they had a strong first period but tapered off by the third. They only had two shots on net in the third period.
The good news is that they seemed to have gotten to Crawford as he had a relatively lousy effort in Game 2. He finished with just 20 saves and an .833 save percentage. If they can get a complete game where their top two lines are rolling and contributing – which hasn’t happened in the finals yet – then they should be a smart NHL pick to get the win in Game 3.
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They didn’t play their best game – again – yet they were still in it. Chicago got three goals past Ben Bishop in Game 2 and that was on just 21 shots. And beyond that, he seemed to have some kind of injury or issue as he had to leave to the dressing room a couple of times in the third period. Keep an eye on his status for Game 3 as that could be significant.
As for Chicago, again they got very little from their big guns as Jonathan Toews had one point but Patrick Kane didn’t register. Even so, they still got three goals and had very good chances to get more. If their big guns start clicking, the Blackhawks will pull away in Game 3.
Chicago has only lost once on their home ice this postseason and don’t expect it to happen again here. They got home-ice advantage and they are wise enough to protect it. Look for a better effort from Crawford and another win for Chicago.
Hockey Betting Outlook
The side is tricky here as BetOnline opened it up at -150. Chicago probably wins but I don’t want to lay that juice. Instead, I’m going to go over as both goaltenders have showed cracks in the armor. Tampa Bay made their way through Crawford and got their young Triplets line to deliver and I’ll expect more of that in Game 3. As for Chicago, I expect Kane and Toews to play better and for them to score more as a team. Five seems like too low of a number given how Game 2 went. Go over this NHL odds total.
NHL Pick: Over 5