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NHL Free Pick: Lightning vs. Blackhawks Betting Lines & Preview

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Stanley Cup Final Betting action sees the Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the Chicago Blackhawks June 8 at United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Series tied 1-1
Tampa Bay at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, June 8, 2015
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: CBC, TVA, NBCSN
Lightning NHL Betting Odds: +135
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: -149
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Un 5 +131, Ov 5 -144
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The Stanley Cup Final move to Chicago Monday night when the pivotal Game 3 of what has been an intriguing series to say the least will be contested. The Chicago Blackhawks have to be happy with the split on the road although there are some question marks as they head home.

Not without its own share of question marks, the Tampa Bay Lightning head out on the road wondering if they will have to rely on their backup keeper. Ben Bishop exited twice in Game 2 and was unable to finish Game 2 – his availability is in serious doubt.

Both the Lightning and the Blackhawks have won two out of three Game 3’s during these playoffs – buckle up, it should be a great third installment of this year’s Cup Final!

Will he or won’t he?

That’s the question surrounding goaltender Ben Bishop as the Stanley Cup Final switches venues. Rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all five shots he faced to help the Lightning even the series Saturday night – he could see significant playing time if Bishop can’t go. There is a chance that Bishop does play however – he has been decent in the Final so far.

During these playoffs, Bishop is 12-9 with a 2.20 goals-against average in the playoffs. Tampa is saying all the right things on the off-day – it appears as though the team will be good with eighth keeper starting.

The Tampa goaltending situation will at least be buoyed by the knowledge that Victor Hedman will be in front of them. Hedman has elevated himself into the elite category of NHL defensemen in this year’s playoffs – he and partner Anton Stralman have done a remarkable job of limiting the effectiveness of the opposition’s studs. Don’t expect a dropoff in Hedman’s play

Tampa Bay’s “Triplet” line woke up in Game 2 after being held in check in the series opener – a good sign for the Lightning going forward. Tyler Johnson scored his playoff leading 13th goal of the playoffs (his first in five games), Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist and Ondrej Palat was a plus-2.

However, Steven Stamkos is pointless in the series and hasn’t hit the score sheet in his last four games overall – something has to give!

The Chicago Blackhawks have to be a tad concerned about Corey Crawford who played well in Game 1 but struggled in Game 2. He allowed three soft goals in the loss. But if any keeper can shrug off a bad outing, it is the experienced Crawford who has been in this situation before and has passed every test with flying colors.

The Hawks also have to also be worried about the lack of offensive production from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane who will be split up in Game 3 after playing on the same line for Games 1 and 2. Toews has one assist in the first two games of the series, while Kane has been shut out.

Kane did not have a shot on goal in Game 2 – it was only the second time that he failed to record a shot on goal in 112 career playoff games. With a potential backup goaltender manning the crease for Tampa Bay Monday it may be an opportunity for the stars of the Hawks to get on track.

NHL Gambling Trends

• TB are 7-2 in their last 9 road games.
• Over is 35-17-3 in TB last 55 Mon. games.
• CHI are 33-13 in their last 46 Mon. games.
• CHI are 10-4 in their last 14 overall.
• CHI are 93-41 in their last 134 home games.
• TB are 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
• TB are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in Chicago.

The Lightning have been very good in the road in the playoffs – they beat the Rangers in three of four games at MSG, including back-to-back shutouts in Games 5 and 7.

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But the United Center is a totally different type of challenge – Chicago has a knack of feeding off their crowd like no other team in the league.

Chicago Blackhawks – 149

The Blackhawks have been masters of making adjustments and bouncing back after a loss – expect more of the same Monday.

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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