The Chicago Blackhawks open up a pivotal three-game series tonight with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Let’s take a look at this critical Central Division showdown in our Lightning vs. Blackhawks betting pick with odds, picks and player prop predictions.
Lightning vs. Blackhawks Betting Pick
The Blackhawks unloaded on the Red Wings on Sunday night in a 7-2 blowout. That game was headlined by the 400th career goal for superstar Patrick Kane.
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Chicago scored five times in the final frame, driving Detroit goalie Thomas Griess to bust his stick in frustration as he was hung out to dry by his defensemen. Griess made 25 saves over 32 shots faced in what was a completely one-sided affair in favor of Chicago, a team that enters tonight a stellar 10-3-1 over their last 14 games. The surprising Blackhawks trail the Lightning by just three points in the Central Division standings.
The Lightning completed a two-game sweep of the Dallas Stars in the first pair of contests against the club since defeating them in six games last September to win the Stanley Cup. Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been playing lights-out hockey, with three straight shutouts, spanning 200 minutes without allowing a goal.
Tampa Bay has scored 17 goals during their current five-game winning streak and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings against Chicago dating back to the 2016-17 season.
Lightning vs. Blackhawks Odds
Here are the lines for Lightning vs. Blackhawks at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Lightning (-1.5 +125); Blackhawks (+1.5 -150)
Moneyline: Lightning (-210); Blackhawks (+175)
Over/Under: Over 5.5 (-125)/Under 5.5 (+105)
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Bets We Like With a Lightning Win
Lightning First Period Puck-Line (-0.5 +130, Rivers)
Tampa Bay has outscored opponents by a 21-11 margin in the first period this season, including three goals in the first meeting with Chicago back on opening night. This Lightning squad will need to establish the pace of play in the opening frame here against this suddenly potent Blackhawks offense to continue their five-game winning streak.
Bets We Like With a Blackhawks Win
Dominik Kubalik to Score a Goal Anytime (+255, FanDuel)
The 25-year old Czech native has eight goals and ten assists on the season, with three goals scored in the last four games. In three career games against Tampa Bay, Kubalik has three goals. Despite being dropped to the third forward line, look for him to still get quality chances to score tonight.
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Bets We Like Independent of the Outcome
Goal Scored in First 10 Minutes (NO +114, DraftKings)
These two clubs have a ton of offensive talent in their respective lineups, but neither squad is getting off to a fast start in the scoring department in the past couple of weeks. Tampa Bay is 10-10 this year in scoring within the first ten minutes of play, while Chicago is 9-16 in the same timeframe. Both clubs know how important this series is, and I anticipate a playoff-like feel to this contest, leading to a slower starting first period of scoring.
Lightning vs. Blackhawks Prediction
Chicago is a much better squad right now than back in January when the season started and Tampa Bay lit them up in back-to-back victories, but unfortunately, the Lightning are playing as sharp as when they won the Stanley Cup back in the fall. This is a buzz saw that nobody in the league wants to jump in front of right now. Tampa wins this game by a 4-2 final.
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