NHL Free Pick: Blackhawks vs. Lightning Betting Lines & Preview

Betting On The Stanley Cup Finals?

Stanley Cup Final action sees the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 June 13 at Amalie Arena. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Game 5 of what has been a riveting Stanley Cup Final goes Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning, who lost 2-1 in Game 4 return home to take on a Chicago Blackhawks team that should consider themselves lucky to be even in the series after four games.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Series tied 2-2
Tampa Bay at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, June 13, 2015
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Broadcast: CBC, NBC, TVA
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -290 +109
Lightning NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +245 -120
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Un 5½ -143, Ov 5½ +130
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It could be argued that the better team in each game has lost each of the first four games in the series – incredible stuff.

How close have the games been? The Hawks and Lightning each have two victories, nine goals and 24 penalty minutes apiece, while Chicago has outshot Tampa Bay 107-104 thus far.

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Each game has been decided by one goal and neither team has led the other by more than one goal at any point in the four games.

Home ice advantage hasn’t been a factor in the Final just yet – will the Lightning be able to hold serve and get to within one game of a second Championship in 10 years or will the experienced Blackhawks finally take control of a series that they have not dominated like many thought they would have?

The Chicago Blackhawks did just enough in Game 4 to ensure that they will be coming back to the United Center for one more game. Truth be told, they didn’t play all that great and could have been on the losing end just as easily as they were on the winning side of Wednesday night’s game.

The Hawks registered just two shots on goal in the first period and were able to weather a huge storm in the last five minutes of the game to preserve the win.

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Along with the result, there were some good things that came out of Game 4 for Chicago – Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the Final, Patrick Kane picked up his first point of the series with a key assist, Patrick Sharp woke up and registered an assist and Corey Crawford had his best game of the Final, stopping 24 of 25 shots – looking like the Blackhawks’ best player on the ice.

Chicago also won the faceoff battle 38-20 – a good sign for a puck-possession team like the Hawks.

An extra day of rest should help the Blackhawks who will enter Game 5 with a confident Corey Crawford, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and to some extent Patrick Kane who played well but is still goal-less in his last five games overall.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have to feel that they let one slip away on Wednesday night they dominated long stretches of play, they missed some glorious opportunities (Steven Stamkos) and they should have been afforded a slightly better fate.

Stamkos continues to be snake-bitten in the playoffs – he has now gone 6 games without a goal.

The speed and relentlessness of the Lightning has given the Blackhawks fits so far in the series – no reason to think that there are any major changes to the game plan Saturday. That said they will need more from the “Triplets” line that was held off the score sheet in Game 4 and more from Steven Stamkos who just can’t seem to find the back of the net right now.

The goaltending situation for Tampa has become like a soap opera. Andrei Vasilevskiy certainly didn’t look out of place in Game 4 stopping 19 of 21 shots but Ben Bishop is obviously the better option. Simply put Tampa Bay shouldn’t worry about their issues between the pipes – they will be takes care of whomever starts.

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After all, the Tampa defense has been remarkable – they held Chicago to just 19 shots in Game 4 on home ice.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Under is 5-2-1 in CHI last 8 vs. Atlantic.
• CHI are 11-5 in their last 16 overall.
• Under is 6-2-1 in TB last 9 Sat. games.
• TB are 37-14 in their last 51 home games.
• CHI are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings.

I have been talking up the experience edge that the Blackhawks have in this series. Sure Chicago has displayed a “never-die” attitude but they have been very lucky so far to be even in the series.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

It seems that Tampa’s speed has been able to neutralize any advantage that Chicago has.

Tampa Bay Lightning -120

The Hawks have lost five of their last six meetings in Tampa Bay – make it six of their last seven!

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Check out our Updated NHL Hockey Betting Odds.

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Free Stanley Cup Final Picks: Chicago vs. Tampa Bay Gambling Lines

Blackhawks vs Lightning Playoff Pick

It will be a clash of youth versus experience when the Stanley Cup Final kicks off on Wednesday night. The Chicago Blackhawks represent the experience – this team won the Cup in 2010 and 2014.