Tampa Bay Lightning (+136) at Chicago Blackhawks (-150, 5 o/u))
Despite losing Game 2 (4-3), the Chicago Blackhawks (48-28-6) will leave Tampa Bay with a sense of job done, having earned a split on the road and stolen home ice advantage from the Lightning (50-24-8). Now facing a best-of-five, the Hawks will look for more production from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Game 3 tonight at the United Center in Chicago (8:00 PM Eastern).
Chicago’s dynamic duo has been held goalless through the first two games of the series. Toews did manage one assist in the Game 2 loss, but Kane failed to register a shot, which didn’t sit well with the 2013 Conn Smythe winner.
“I mean, as an offensive guy, you want to be helping produce, especially at this time of year,” Kane said to the Associated Press. “But, you know, we said all along with our team, we don’t really care where the goals come from, as long as they’re coming from our team.”
Rookie Teuvo Teravainen has provided the bulk of the offense for Chicago so far, with two goals and three points through two games in the finals.
It’s clear that both sides are making a concerted effort to limit production from the other team’s top scorers. Tampa captain Steven Stamkos – who led the team in all major offensive categories in the regular season – doesn’t have a point in the series, and has now been held off the score sheet in four straight dating back to the conference finals.
Adding to the concerns for the Lightning, goalie Ben Bishop left Game 2 in the third period due to an apparent (but undisclosed) injury.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was keeping mum on the exact nature of Bishop’s ailment – or lack thereof
“You’ll have a better indication, I guess, at the skate,” said to the AP. “Although our morning skates are all optional anyway. Bish, notoriously he goes on sometimes during them and sometimes he doesn’t. I’m sure you’ll get a clue then tomorrow.”
In the trends, Chicago is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home against Tampa. With Bishop potentially laboring, Chicago (-150) looks safer.
Pick: Chicago (-150).
(Photo Credit: Lisa Gansky (Flickr: IMG_9865) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)