Chicago Blackhawks (+111) at Tampa Bay Lightning (-122, 5 o/u)
The Chicago Blackhawks (48-28-6) were outplayed by the favored Tampa Bay Lightning (50-24-8) for the majority of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. But thanks to solid goaltending from Corey Crawford (20 saves on 21 shots) and two late goals from the third line, the Hawks stole a 2-1 win and home-ice advantage. Tonight, the Lightning will try to knot the series at one game apiece as they host Game 2 at Amalie Arena (7:15 PM Eastern).
After Alex Killorn gave Tampa a 1-0 lead part way through the first period, Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored in a span of 1:58 minutes in the middle of the third to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Teravainen said to the Associated Press. “I know we have a great team. We have a lot of experience, but myself, I’m a young guy here, so I try to bring some energy. Tampa Bay is a really great team. It’s a fast game out there. You have to be ready.”
Game 1 was the first time this postseason that Tampa had scored the first goal but gone on to lose. (They won the previous nine.) Despite not getting the result they were hoping for, the Lightning are confident that they can build off their Game 1 effort.
“For most of the game, we saw we can hang, and we can be better,” Tampa captain Steven Stamkos said to the AP. “You’ve got to go through these situations to learn from them. It comes down to the small details, and it comes down to a bounce.”
Unfortunately for the Lightning, the Game 1 setback doesn’t bode well for their chances in the series. The team that wins Game 1 in the Stanley Cup finals has won 58 of 75 best-of-seven series, including the last three in a row. As far as the O/U is concerned, ten of Tampa’s last 14 home games against the Hawks have stayed under the total. With both teams getting solid goaltending and playing a more conservative style, the under looks like the best option for Game 2.
Pick: UNDER (5).
(Photo credit: Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA (IMG_7562) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)