NHL Odds - Blackhawks at Lightning Game Preview


The league’s top team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night on NBCSN. If you haven’t noticed, Tampa has taken over as the favorite to win the 2018 Stanley Cup at odds of 6-1. The Lightning come into this game at 15-3-2, while the Blackhawks are 10-8-2. Both teams will be rested, as Chicago hasn’t played since winning against at Pittsburgh on Saturday, while the Lightning have not played since losing at home to the Islanders on Saturday.

At 7:30 p.m. ET, tune into NBCSN for live television coverage of this NHL game on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at Amalie Arena.

We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Wednesday schedule.

Odds Analysis

The Blackhawks might have finally turned the corner, as they come into this game on a two-game winning streak. They looked good last Wednesday in a win over the Rangers and on Saturday they beat the defending champion Penguins 2-1 in Pittsburgh. The player who is leading the Blackhawks is definitely a surprise, as Artem Anisimov has 10 goals. He had a hat trick against the Rangers and he scored the game winner against Pittsburgh. He has four game winning goals this season. He is playing on the second line between Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz. Chicago now has three solid lines and Anisimov has fit in well on the second line.

The concern for Chicago is that they are giving up too many shots. Corey Crawford is an excellent goaltender, but the Blackhawks have allowed 35 shots or more nine times this season and if Crawford isn’t excellent, the Blackhawks don’t win. Chicago is 5-5 on the road this season, with five games going over the total, four going under, with one push. They are scoring three goals per game and giving up 2.6 per contest.

The Lightning have been excellent this season, but they are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. Head coach John Cooper said to Tampabay.com that the team hasn’t had many low spots this season, so Saturday’s loss was a bit of a shock. "(Saturday) was definitely a reality check for us," Cooper said. Tampa came out flat against the Islanders and it cost them, as they fell behind 4-0 and couldn’t recover. Ondrej Palat said on Tampabay.com that the team has to be a lot better on Wednesday, "We have to be better. There’s no excuse. We have to be better than (Saturday) Wednesday night."

Tampa is 8-3 at home with seven games going over the total and four going under. They are scoring four goals per game and giving up 2.6 per contest.

Special Teams

The Blackhawks are just 25th in the NHL on the power play at just over 16%, but they are 5th in the league in penalty killing at just over 85%. The Lightning lead the league on the power play at 28% and they are 9th in penalty killing at just about 84%.

Key Stat

These teams played twice last season with Tampa winning both games; 5-2 in Chicago and 5-4 in Tampa. The Lightning have won seven of the last ten at home in this series, with four of the last six going under the total.

Free NHL Picks

The Blackhawks are playing better but no team in the NHL has been better this season than Tampa Bay. I expect the Lightning to bounce back with a big effort and get the win on Wednesday so I will lay the price and take Tampa. I also think there is some value on the total, as the Blackhawks are still struggling on defense and the Lightning lead the league in goals per game. That should mean a high scoring game on Wednesday night, so I will take the game over the total.

NHL Odds: Lightning 5, Blackhawks 3

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