Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks Game 4 Betting Lines - Prediction
The Tampa Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks clash this Wednesday night at the United Center in Game 4 of this season's best-of-seven NHL Stanley Cup Finals with Tampa Bay holding the 2-1 series edge. Game time for this crucial showdown is set for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
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Tampa Bay has gained the early 1-0 edge in the first period of all three games in this series and for the second game in a row it held on to a thin one goal lead to gain the win. The Lightning came away with a 4-3 victory at home in Game 2 as -135 home favorites and in what could prove to be the biggest win in this series, they outlasted Chicago 3-2 on Monday night as +146 road underdogs despite getting outshot 38-32.
Give credit to Ryan Callahan for giving Tampa Bay that early lead as well as to Ondrej Palat's third-period goal that erased Chicago's extremely brief 2-1 lead. Cedric Paquette went on to score the game winner with a little more than three minutes left to play in regulation. Most of the credit for Monday's win that gave Tampa Bay the all-important 2-1 edge in this series should go to goalie Ben Bishop. He had to leave Game 2 on Saturday night with an apparent lower body injury, but he looked sharp all night long in Game 3.
Chicago suddenly finds its back against the wall after the stunning loss at home on Monday as a heavy -162 favorite. It was just the second loss in these playoffs on the Blackhawks' home ice verse seven victories. They found themselves in the same 2-1 hole against Anaheim in the Western Conference Finals after losing Game 3 at home and responded accordingly so you would have to expect the same positive response this Wednesday night.
One thing that Chicago needs to do is gain an early lead as it will get harder and harder to play from behind as this series continues to progress. On Monday night, Brad Richards tied the game up late in the first period and Brandon Saad gave his team the 2-1 lead at the 4:14 mark of the third period after a scoreless second stanza for both teams. That lead lasted all of 13 seconds and the Blackhawks were unable to score again to seal their fate. Corey Crawford turned away 29 of the 32 shots he faced in Game 3, but Chicago is going to need more production from its top goal scorer's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to tie this series up with a win in Game 4.
The Lightning have now won their last four games on the road and they are 12-4 in their last 16 games when playing on one day's rest. The total has gone OVER in their last four games against a team that has scored two or less goals in its previous outing.
The Blackhawks are 6-1 in their last seven games after scoring two or less goals in their previous outing and they are 7-3 in their last 10 games playing on one day's rest. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games against a team with a winning percentage above .600.
Tampa Bay is now 8-2 in the last 10 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last five games played in Chicago.
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Prediction
I went with Chicago in Game 3 and paid the price after cashing-in on the Blackhawks in Game 1 and the OVER on the total line in Game 2. Looking ahead to Wednesday night's contest I am shifting gears and going back to a total line bet with a play on the OVER. Both teams have picked-up the pace when it comes to generating shots and this should translate to even more goals scored in Game 4.