The Tampa Bay Lightning did what they had to do in game 2 by winning on home ice. A loss there would have been a disaster for the Lightning, and would have put them in a heck of a big hole. They still have their backs against the wall as they have a couple of games on the road in Chicago on deck. Another factor is the injury to Ben Bishop. Bishop appears to be a game-time decision. If he cant go it will give way to Andrei Vasilevskiy. If Andrei has to go it’ll surely be a big task for him to jump into the Stanley Cup Finals without experience in the playoffs. The only experience he has was after Bishop went down late in game 2. Vasilevskiy held strong in net making five saves, as the Lightning were able to get out before having to go to overtime. Now Vasilevskiy may be asked to make the first start of his career in the playoffs as a rookie. In his first season with the Lightning he posted a 2.36 GAA with a 7-5 record. Not bad for a rookie, but this is a different stage on the road in Chicago of game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It is a situation to worth watching heading into tonight. Either way, the Lightning will have an inexperienced Vasilevskiy in net or a banged up Bishop.
Game 2 ended up being an easy winner for us, as the offenses opened up in the 2nd period to provide a winning pick on the OVER 5. I thought after a slow start to game 1, both offenses would be up to the task. There is too much offensive firepower on both sides of the ice for them to be held down. I have to lean that way again for game 3 but the juice is too high for me to take it. I don’t mind making bets on sides at that price once in a while, it’s not a good habit to get into, but on a total it makes me shy away. So now that I have revealed my hand and it isn’t on the over under, let’s take a look and see which side I’m leaning for the game.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks
It has been a pretty exciting finals season for the NBA and NHL. The NBA had two overtime games, the first time in history, and everyone is excited to see how this series plays out in the NHL. The Blackhawks will have a pumped up Chicago crowd behind them rooting them on to victory. Both teams have won in a multitude of ways in these playoffs. Low scoring game, or high scoring affairs, both the Lightning and Blackhawks have shown that they can win in either type of game.
The goaltending situation for the Lightning really scares me tonight. Like I said, either way, the Lightning are either going to be with an inexperienced goalie, or they are going to be with one that isn’t at 100%. The Lightning are saying they are confident with Vasilevskiy, but how confident can you be going into Chicago for game 3 with a goaltender that doesn’t even have a year of NHL experience under his belt? The Blackhawks have to seize this moment and show up in a big way Monday night. I think they do end up with that kind of performance. If I were to guess, I’d say Bishop is going to be suiting up tonight, but even then, I still like the Blackhawks to take a 2-1 series lead in game 3.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS TO WIN -149 5DIMES – BEST ODDS