Lightning vs. Blackhawks Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Lightning are listed as a -135 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Blackhawks are a -105 underdog, while the total is set at 6 goals. As of Monday morning, 76 percent of public bets have come in on Tampa Bay.
The Lightning enter with a 31-12-1-2 record after a 5-2 loss Saturday at the Wild. Chicago is 22-18-5-1 following a 7-3 home loss Saturday versus the Islanders. Tampa Bay won the first meeting this season on its home ice by a count of 3-2 in overtime back on Nov. 22. The Lightning have won the last four meetings dating back to the 2015-16 season. The over-under is 2-2 in those games.
Tampa Bay was paced by Brayden Point as he registered both goals in the loss at Minnesota. Tyler Johnson assisted on both scores. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 30 saves on 34 shots in the defeat. The Lightning fell behind 3-0 in the second period and Point's two goals brought his squad back within two goals twice, but Tampa Bay could not get any closer.
The Blackhawks were led by Patrick Kane as he accounted for two goals and an assist in the loss to New York. Erik Gustafsson added a goal and an apiece. Anton Forsberg allowed five goals on 35 shots in the loss before being pulled for Jeff Glass, who gave up two goals on 11 shots the rest of the way. Kane cut it to 5-3 with 15:02 remaining with his second goal, but the Islanders scored two more to put it away.
In the last six meetings, the home team is 5-1. The under is 8-1 in the last nine meetings in Chicago. Chicago is 0-7 in its last seven games against an opponent with a winning percentage above .600.
Tampa Bay showed it is fallible with three straight losses, but it is difficult to imagine the Lightning stay down for long. With the Blackhawks struggling defensively and in the goaltending department with Corey Crawford out, expect the NHL's best offense to take advantage. The moneyline bet on Tampa Bay is easy enough to stomach. Take the better team here on the road.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING -135